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4 -^ 1 



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The higli merits and distinguished character of the 
original German work by Professor Kohlrausch, of which 
this is a translation, have long been acknowledged. A work 
which during a period of thirty years has enjoyed so much 
popularity as to have gone through several editions, em- 
bracing a circulation of many thousands of copies ; a pro- 
duction which has extended and established its good repute, 
even in its original form, far beyond its native dime, to 
England, Prance, Belgium, Italy, America, &c. (in several of 
which coimtries it has been reprinted in German), and has 
thus become a standard book of reference in almost all the 
universities and principal public, as well as private edu- 
cational institutions — such a publication possesses ample 
testimony proving it able to create a lasting interest, and 
confirming its claims to consideration and esteem. 

The aim of the distinguished author in this valuable 
history is thus simply but distinctly expressed by him- 
self: " My sole object," he says, " has been to produce a 
succinct and connected development of the vivid and 
eventful course of our country's history, written in a style 
calculated to excite the interest and sympathy of my 
readers, and of such especially who, not seexing to enter 
upon a very profoimd study of the sources and more ela- 
borate works connected with the annals of our empire, are 
nevertheless anxious to have presented to them the means 
of acquiring an accurate knowledge of the records of our 
Fatherland, in such a form as to leave upon the mind and 
heart an enduring, indelible impression." 


That our industrious historian has attained his object, 
the intelligent reader will find in the interest excited, the 
dear views imparted, and the deep impression effected by 
his animated portrayals of both events and individuals. 
This has been the original and acknowledged characteris- 
tic of Herr Kohlrausch's work throughout its entire ex- 
istence ; but in the new edition from which this translation 
has been rendered, he has endeavoured to make it as 
perfect as possible, both in matter and style, and besides 
this has enriched it with many valuable notes not con- 
tained in the former editions ; thus making it in reality 
a concise, yet, in every respect, a complete history of Ger- 

It is important to remark, that Professor Kohlrausch is 
a Protestant, and one distinguished not less for his freedom 
from prejudice and partiality, than for the comprehensive- 
ness of his views and the high tone of his philosophy. The 
general adoption of the work — aUke by R:otestant and Ro- 
manist — ^is proof sufficiently convincing of the impartiality 
of his statements, and of the justice of his reflections and 


London, 1844. 





The Sofincefl of the most ancient German History— The Nature of the Country 
— ^The Natiyes — The Germanic Racc» — Manners and Customs — Civil fosti- 
tvtioiia — ^War — ^Regulations, and Arms — ^Religion — Arts and Manufactures 
—The Germanic Tribes 1-41 




486 A.D. 


B.C. lis — 6 A.D. 

The Cimbri and Tentoni, 113-101 bjc — Cesar and Ariovistus, 58 b.c. — Julius 
Cseaar on the Rhine— Commencement of the Great German Wars — Drusus in 
Germany — ^Marhodius, King of the Marcomanni 42-58 



Aiminina or Hermann — Arminius and Varus— Arminius and Germanicns — 
The Death of^rminius, 21 a.d. — ^Further Wars between the Germans and 
1g«nrM^n« — ^WaT wlth the Marcomanni, 167-180 — The Germanic Jjonfederations 
— ^The AJemamii— The i^ranks — The Saxon Confederation — ^The Goths — \ 
The Decline of the Roman Empire 58-78 


Tlie Hnnns-— Commencement of the Great Migration, 375 — ^Irruption of the 
Western Goths, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians, and other Tribes into the 
Western Roman Emph-e— Alaric— Attila, God's Scourge, 451— The Fall of 
the Roman Empire m the West, 476 79-92 



Cbms, King of the Franks, 482-511— Theodoric, snmamed Dieterich of Berne, ' 
488-526— The Longobardi in Italy, 568— Changes in the Customs and Insti- ' 
tatiooa of the Germans — ^The language— Constitution — ^Feudal System — 
Laws— Pastimes— Christianity in Tiermany— The" Grand Chamberlains^ 
Chariea Martel against the Arabs, 732— Pepin the Little— The Carlo- i 
Tjngiaiia ,• .•.••....... • ••.••....••. ,,.....•..•••.•.•••.• 94-111 







Charlemagne, 768-814— The Statfijn which Charlemagne found the Empire — 
The EaBt-Boman, or Grecian Empire — ^England— The North of Eorope— The 
Spanish Peninsula — ^Italy — ^Austria and Hmiganr— Oennany — The Wars of 
Qhftrleznagne — ^Tlie Saxons — The Longobardi — The Arabs — The Bavarians 
—The £mpirQj)f Charlemagne— Charlemagne, Emperor of Rome, 800 — The 
Death of Charlemagne, 814— His Portraiture 113-137 



Louis the Pious, 814-840 — ^Diyision of the Empire among his Sons, Louis, 
Lothaire, and Charles the Bald, 843 — The German Soyereigns of the Race of 
the Carlovingians, 843-911 — Louis, or Ludwig^ the German— Charles the Fat 
— ^Amulf— Ix>uis the Child — ^The later and concluding Period of the Oarlo- 
vingiaQB— Conrad L, of Franconia, 911-918 138-151 




Heniy L, 919-986— His Wars— The Hungarians— The SclaTooians— New Insti- 
tutions— Oiho I., 936-973— The Hungarians— Battle of the Lechfeld*— ISe 
Western Empire renewed, 962— Greece— Otfeo IL, 973-983— Otho IIL, 983- 
1003-^^^^fiisIleliglous Deyotion— His Partiality for Roman and Grecian Man- 
ners and Customs— Henry H, 1003-1024— Italy— Payia—Bamburg— His 
Death, 1024— End of the^Saxon Dynasty 155-186 



Assemblage of the Ducal States— The Election— Conrad H., 1024-1039— 
Re-establishes Internal Peace — ^Italy — Canute, King 'of England and Den- 
mark — Burgundy — ^Ernest, Duke of Swabia — The Fai^t-Recht— Conrad's 
De^th, 1039— Heniy nin 1039-1056— The Popes— Henry's Zeal for" the 
Church— His Death,"" 1056— Henry IV., 1056, 1106— His Minorily— The 
Archbishops — ^Albert of Bremen — Heni y and the Saxons — ^Their Hostility — 
Henry's Reyenge — ^Pope Gregory VJJ. — His Ambition — ^The Right of In- 
vestiture — ^Ruptture with the Emperor — Henry Excommunicated — The Em- 
peror a Fugitiye — Tlie Riyal Emperors and Popes — Rudolphus of Swabia 
and Pope Clement HI.— Henry's Death, 1106— Henry V., 1106-1125— Rome 
— ^Pope Pascal IL— The Inyestiture Contest — Sanguinary Battle — ^Henry 
Crowned Emperoi^His Death, 1125— The First Crusade, 1096-1099— Lo- 
thaire the Saxon» 1125-1137 185-816 




Conrad HL, 1138-1152— The Gvdphs and GhibeUnes— Weinsberg— The Faith- 
ful Wiyea— Conrad's Crusade— Disastrous ResnltSr-His Death, 1152— Fre- 
derick L, or Barbarossa, 1 152-1 19O-7-H18 Noble Character and Distinguished 
Qualities— Extends his I>onSinionK--The Cities of Lomfcaidy and Milan— 
Payia^Pope Adrian IV.— The Emperor's Homage— Otho of Wlttelsback— 
Dispute between the Pope and the Emperor^Milan Taken and Rased— The 
Confederation of the Lombardian Towns — The Battle of Lignano— Frederick 
Defeated — ^Pope Alexander and Frederick->Yenioe— Henry, the Lion of 
Bronswiok — ^His Rise and Fall — ^Reconciliation and Peae&— Lombardy-^ 
Frederick's Crusade and Death in Palestine, 1190 216-883 

coirrENTs. vu 




Henij YI., 1190-1197— His Heroenary md Cruel Character— Richard L of 
£i]^|and—l0 Seised and Imprlioned hy Heniy-— Naples and Sicily— The 
Chrandcco Their Barhaxous Treatment hj the Emperor— His Death, 1197— 
The Rival SoTerdgns— Phillip of Swabia, 1197-1208, and Otho IV., 1197- 
1215— Their Death— Frederick H., 1215*1250— His Noble Qualities— Lore 
for the Arts and Scienoes— His Sarcastic Poetry— Pcefierence for Italy— Di»- 
putes with the Popes— Is Excommunicated— His Crusade to the Holy Land 
— Cnvwned King of Jerosaleni — Manies a Princess of England — Italy — 
Pope Gregofy IX. — ^Frederick Denonnced and Deposed— ^Dissensioiis in Ger- 
many—The RiTsi KiDg»— Death of Frederick IL, 1250— His extraordmaxy 
GeBSBS and Talents — His Zeal for Science and Ednoation— A Ghmoe at tibe 
East and North-Eastem Parts of Germany— Progress in CiTilisation — 
William of HoBaad, 1247-1256— Conrad lY., 1250-1254— Their Deaths 
The Interregnum, 1256-1273— Progress of the Gerznanic Constitntioa ... 234-252 



Chiyaliy— The Cities— The Peasantry— The Arts and Sciences— Tlie Clergy 
and Ecclesiastical Institutions — The Monasteries and Convents — The Faust- 
Recht — The Administratioa ol Justice — The Yehm-Gericht, or Secret 
Tribunal ^ ^ 253»28fl^ 





Rndolphus L, of Hapsbnrg, 1278-1291— Adolphus I^ of Nassau, 1292-1298 — 
Albert L, of Austria, 1298-1308 — Switzerland — Confederation of the Swiss 
--Gessler— William Tell— Henry VU., of Luxemburg, 1308-1313— Frederick 
of Aostria, 1314-1330, and Lewis of Bayaria, 1314-1347— Switaerhmd— The 
BatOe of Ifofgarten, 1315— The Battle of Miihldori; 1322— The First Efee- 
tofBl AHiaaee, 1338— Death of Lewis, 1347 288-304 




Charles IT., 1347-1378— Weoceslas, 1378-1400— Switzerland— The Battle of 
Sempach, 1386— Leopold of Austria — ^Arnold of Wii^elried — ^His Heroism 
and S^-derotioD— Wenoeslas Deposed— Rupert of the Palatinate, 1400- 
1410 — Sigisnrand, 1410-1437 — Grand Connol of Constance — John Huss, 
and the HoBsite Wars— Death of Sigismund, 1437 305-320 



Albert IL, 1438-1439— His Death— Frederick m, 1440-1493— The Council of 
Basle, 1448— ^neas SyMus— The Turks— Belgrade— Defeat of the Turks 
—The Diets— The Snuperor besieged in Yienn*— His Resohition— His Bro- 
ther, Duke Albert— liifi Count PaUtine of the Rhine— His Hostility- 
Defeats the Imperialist! — ^Albert of Brandenburg, the Achilles of Germany -- 
— Fends of the NoUes and Cities— Kuremberg— The Nobks Defieated— 
Anstrin and Burgundy—Charles the Rash— £Ss Ambition— Attacks the 
Swiss— Defeated at Knrten— The Battle of Nancy— His Death— Mary of 



Burgundy — ^Marries MaximUian of Austria— Her Deatb-*The Emperor 
Frederick a Fugitive — His Return — ^Maximilian, Roman King^The Laws 
— Their Improvement— Frederick's Obstinacy and Refusal — Mfoimilian Ap- 
pealed to — The Swabian League — ^Death of Frederick IIL, 1493— Prussia — 
The Teutonic Knights — Their Decline and Fall — ^Prussia under Polish 
Sway, 1466 .TT."......: 321—323 


Maximilian L, 1493-1519 — His Mental Acquirements and Ghivalric Character— 
His Government — Italy — Charles VIIL and Louis Xn. of France— Switzer- 
land— The Venetian Republic — The League of Cambray— Maximilian's Ho- 
nourable and Consistent Conduct — The Battle of the Spurs— Union of Hun* 
gary and Bohemia — Internal Administration of Affairs — Perpetual Peace of 
the Land— End ot Ihe Faust-Kecht— The Imperial Chamber and Aulic 
Council — Opposition of the States — The Emperor Triumphant— State of the 
Country — ^The Nobles, Cities, and Peasantry — Gotz vonBerlichingen, &c. — 
Beath of the Emperor Maximilian, 1519 — Events of his Reign, and End of 
the Middle Ages — ^Discovery and Use of Gunpowder — ArtiUery and Fire- 
Arms— Invention of Printmg, 1457 332-350 



State of the Empire— Internal Anarchy — Charles V. of Spain, and Francis I. of 
France— Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony — Charles V. elected Emperor 
of Germany— His Character— Jealousy and Discontent of the Spaniards — 
Try to dissuade Charles from accepting the Imperial Crown — New Spain — 
Discovery of Mexico — Arrival of Charles in Germany — His Coronation, 1520 
— Schism in the Church— Causes which produced it — Ignorance of the 
Clergy — Their Vices — Murmurs and Discontent of the People — ^A Reforma- 
tion in the Church universally demanded — Scholastic Wisdom — Theology — 
Enlightenment of Science— John Reuchlin 354-362 


Outbreak of the Reformation, 1517 — ^Abuses in the Church — ^Letters of Indul- 
gence — Martin Luther, the Reformer — His Exposure and Condemnation of 
these Proceedings — ^Is summoned to appear in Rome — Withheld from going 
by the Elector of Saxony — ^The Pope's Nuncio, Cardinal C^jetan and Luther at 
the Diet of Augsburg, 1518— Refusal of Luther to retract — ^Luther's Appeal to 
the P^ for a fur Hearing— Controversial Discussion between Luther and 
Dr. Eck — ^Luther maintains his Groimd — The Pope's Bull against Luther — 
The Reformer bums the Bull, with the Canon Law and Edc's Writings — 
Propagation of the New Doctrine — ^Luther addresses the People — ^Ubic of 
Hutten, and Francis of Sickmgen— Frederick the Wise of Saxony and the 
Princes in favour of Reform— The Grand Diet at Worms, 1521— Charles V, 
— ^The Pope's Legate, Cardinal Alexander — ^Luther's Appearance and Exami- 
nation there— S(3emn Refusal not to retract — The Emperor's Declaration — 
Luther Excommunicated and his Writings burnt — Conveyed by the Elector 
of Saxony for Safety to the Castle of Wartburg— His Translation of the New 
Testament — Tumults and Revolutions of the Peasantry — Munzer the Fanatic 
— BatUe of Frankenhausen — Munzer's Death — Tranquillity Restored. ... 363-377 


Foreign Relations of Charles V. — ^Francis I. of France— War between these two 
rival Monarchs— Italy— Milan— The Duke of Bourbon— The Chevalier 
Bayard— The Battle of Payia, 1525— Defeat of the French— Francis L taken 
Prisoner — Madrid — The King of France liberated — His dishonourable Breach 
of Stipulation — The Imperialists in Rome — The Pope a Prisoner — His Ran- 
som—War with France resumed — ^Andrew Doria — ^Peace of Cambray, 1529 



-^Chaxles Y. crowned Emperor and King of Lombardy in Bologna— His Ge- 
nerodtj — Ketum to Germany— First L^igue of the Protestant Princes, 1526 
— The Angsbnrg Confession, 1530 — Melancthon^His Character of Charles 
V. — John, Elector of Saxony — ^His Determination — The Imperial Council — 
The Emperor's Dedaration—Keply of the Protestant Princes — ^Ferdinand, 
King of Rome, 1531 — Religious Peace — The Turks in Hungary— Their 
Defwt— Ulric, Duke of Wurtcmberg— Restored to his Possessions by Philip 
€f Hesse— Insurrection of the Anabaptists— Their Defeat —The Emperor in 
Afiica— Tunis -His Triumph and Liberation of 22,000 Christian Slaves— 
Francis I. attacks Italy — Charles V. enters France— Suspension of Arms— • 
Interview between the two Monarchs at Aigues-Martcs — Revolt in Ghent — 
Progress of Charles V. through France and Ghent — Hospitality received — 
Peace restored in Ghent— The Diet at Ratisbon, 1541— Charles V. in Al- 
giers — Disastrous Expedition — His Fortitude — ^Return to Italy — ^Francis I. 
resumes Hostilities — His Ill-success — Charles V. on the Rhine — Attacks the 
Duke of Cleves — Overcomes and Pardons him — Marches into France — ^Ad- 
Tsace upon Paris— The Peace ofCrepi, 1544 378-397 


State of Religious Affairs in Germany, from 1534 to 1546— Vain Attempts at 
Beoondliation — ^Rapid Propagation of the New Doctrine— Henry, Duke of 
Bronswick- Death of Martm Luther, 1546— Charles Y. and the Pope— Their 
Alliance— Preparations for War — The League of Schmalkald — The Elector 
of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse — Hieir Characters contrasted — 
Hauzioe, Duke of Saxony — His extraordinary Genius — His Adherence to 
the Emperor— The Pope's Bull— The Holy War— The Schmalkaldian Army, 
1546-1547 — General Schartlin — Division among the Protestant Leaders — 
Inglorious Results — ^The Imperial Camp besieged — Charles triumphant — 
DiiJke Maurice and the Elector of Saxony — ^Treachery of Duke Maurice — 
The Emperor in Upper Germany — Conquers the Imperial Free Cities — 
Saxony— The Battle of Mulilberg— The Saxons cefeated— The Elector taken 
Prisoner— Deposed and condemned to Death — The Game of Chess — The 
Elector's Firmness and Resignation — His Life spared — Duke Maurice made 
Elector of Saxony— Wittenberg— Charles Y. and Philip of Hesse— The Land- 
grave's Submission and Humiliation — ^Detained a Prisoner, and his Lands 
seized by the Emperor — The Elector Maurice — ^His Mortification and Projects 
against the Emperoi^-The Spanish Troops in Germany — Their Insolence and 
expression 397-421 


The Council of Trent — ^Rupture between the Emperor and the Pope — ^The 
Interim or Temporary Code of Doctrines — Its Condemnation by both Parties 
—The Captive jElector of Saxony— Refuses to adhere to the Interim — His 
Declaration — Shameful Tr^Ument in consequence — Tlie Elector Maurice — 
Magdeburg — Maurice marches against that City — The Emperor and Maurice 
— Maurice deserts the Emperor, and with Albert of Brandenburg joins the 
Protestants — Tlieir Declaration against the Emperor — His Reply — ^Albert's 
Depredations — Maurice's Separation from him — Charles Y. at Inspruck — Pur- Iklaurice — The Emperor a Fugitive in the Mountains of the Tyrol — His 
Desolate and Forlorn Condition — His Return to Augsburg — Release of the 
Elector John Frederick — llis Welcome Home — Jena — ^Treaty of Paasau — — 
Liberation of Philip of Hesse— Charles Y. in France — ^Metz— Unsuccessful 
Campaign — Albert of Brandenburg — ^Defeated at Liineburg by Maurice— 
Death of Maurice and Albert — ^Religious Peace of Augsburg — Final Sepa- 
ration of the Two Religious Parties — Abdica tion of Charles Y. — Retreat to a 
Hermit's Cell— Rehearsal of his FuneraTPrbcession— His Death, 1558... 422-437 


Ferdinand I^ 1556-1564 — ^His industrious Habits — ^Moderation and Tolerance — 
The Calvinists and Lutherans — Their Hostility towards each other — ^Ferdi- 
xiand and Protestantism — The Foundation of the Order of Jesuits by Igna- 
tius Loyola, 1540— Its rapid and universal Dissemination — ^The Council of 


X coHTEirrs. 


Trent-— Ferdinand't Ambaflaadon— Their Ftopontknis leAiaed— Their Loiter 
to the Emperor— Death of Ferdmand L, 1564»Haadmilian IL, 1564-1576— 
Hla Qualifications and Good Character— B(rf]eniiA— Poland—State of Tran- 
quillity — ^William of Gmmbach in Franconia — Bin Berolt and Ezoommnm- 
catkxD — Qotfaft^The Yonng Prince of Saxony— Joins Gnunbadi — ^Hia per- 
petual Captiyitj and Death in Stjri*— Grumbach's Ezecution — ^The ner- 
oenaiy Troops — EtiIs they prodi]oeh--Gennan Soldiers in Fordgn Service — 
Death of MaTTmiliau II., 1576— Rudolphna IL, 1576-1612— His IndoleBce 
and Irresolution — ^Bad Councillors — ^Religious Krcftftment renewed — ^The 
Netheilands— The Duke of Alba^The Elector Gebhard of Cologne and 
Agnes of Mansfeld, Canoness of Grerresheim — Gebhard exoo mm unScated — 
John Casimir, the Coimt Palatine— Calyiniani — ^Donauwerth — Austria — ^Ru- 
dolphus against the Protestants — ^Depriyes them of their Churches — Hnngsiy 
— Beydt of Stephen Botsdikai — ^The Emperor an Astrologist and Alchymist 
— Neglects his Goremment more and more^-Tycho Brahe and Keppler— 
Budolphus resigns Hungary to his Brother Matthias — ^Bohemia — ^The Letter 
<tf Mio^sty — ^The Palatinate — The Evangelical Union — Juliers — Henzy lY. 
of France joins the Union— The CathoUc League — ^Prague — Bevolt — The 
Emperor a Prisoner— His Death, 1618 437-450 


Matthias L, 1612-1619 — ^His Coronation — ^Its Pomp and Splendour deceptive — 
The Protestants — ^Increase of general Discontent — Austriit— Aix-la-Chapelle 
—Cologne— The Prince Palatine Wolfgang Wilfiam, and the Elector of 
Brandenburg — ^Their Quarrel — ^Box on the Ear — Baneful Consequences — 
Foreign AUks — The Young Archduke Ferdinand — ^Elected King of Bohemia 
— His Character — ^His Devotion to Cathdicism and Hatred of the Protestanta 
—Banishes the New Faith firam his Lands— The Electoral Princes— Ferdinand 
warned against his Proceedings by the Elector of Saxony — ^Bohemia — ^The 
Letter of Miyesty shamefhlly infringed — The Protestant Churohes destroyed 
— ^Indignatioa and Revolt dT the Protestants — Their Defender, Count Mat- 
thias, of Thum— Counts Martinitz and Slavata— Their Hostility to the Pro- 
testants — ^Prague — The Conndl Hall — Martinitz and Slavata thrown out of 
the Window — General Revolutioa — The Emperor's Alarm and Desire fiv 
Peao&— Ferdinand's Declaration in reply— ^Commencement of the Thirty 
Years' War— Count Ernest of Manafeid, the Li^er of the Protestants— Hia 
great military Genius and heroic Character — ^Death of Matthias L, 1619^ 
Ferdinand IL, 1619-1637- Count Thum and the Bohemians in Vienna— 
Surround the Emperor in his Palace— Ferdinand unexpectedly rescued — ^The 
Bohemians depose him — The Elector Palatine^ Frederick Y., Son-in-Law of 
James I. of England, Kiqg of Bohemia, 1619 — HIb Irresolution and Pusilla- 
nimity — Ferdinand and Maximilian of Bavaria — Their Alliance — Superiority 
of the Imperialists over the Bohemians— Battle of Weissenberg, near Prague, 
1620— The Bohemians defeated and their King put to Flight — His Abdi- 
cation—Prague capitulates— Bohemia severely punished by Ferdinand — 
Thirty thousand Families baniahed the Country 451-464 


Military Expeditions in Germany, 1621-1624 — Generals Mansfeld and Tilly— 
Successes of Mansfeld — Joined by the Margrave of Baden— Durlach and 
Christian— Duke of Brunswick— Tilly— The Palatinate— The Heiddberg 
Library — ^Ferdinand resolves to continue the War — ^The Duke of Bavaria 
made Elector Palatine— Tilly defeats the Duke of Brunswick in Munster — 
War with Denmark, 1624-1629— The Protestant Forces under Christian lY. 
of Denmark — ^The Duke of Brunswick and Mansfeld— The Emperor without 
a Leader— Count Wallenstein — His extraordinary Character — Ambition — 
Astrological Studies — ^Faith in Destiny — ^His Bravery — Weissenberg— Wal- 
lenstein. Duke ^of Friedland — His stately Palace and regal Style of living — 
Raises an Imperial Army — His Appearance — Pursues Mansfeld — ^Death of 
Mansfeld, 1626— Death of the Duke of Brunswick— Christian lY. of Denmark 
— His Fl^t— Dukes Adolphus and John of Mecklenburg banished— Their 
Estates sdzed by Wallenstein— Created Duke of Mecklenburg and a Prince 

coimsirrs. zi 


of tiie Empire, 1628--Fdiiierani»---Stnil8imd---Bei]i^ged by WaUenstdn— Its 
IxraTe Besistanoe — ^Forces Walleasteia to retire— Peace between the King of 
Demuurk and the Emperor, 1629— The Edict of BestLtation, 1639— Its Effect 
— ^Augsburg — ^The Catholic League — lyrannj and Cmdtj of WaUenstdn 
and hia Armj— Complaints of the Catholics and Protestants against Wallen- 
stein to the Emperor— Tlie Princes and the Nation insist upon his Dismissal 
— ^His Besignation 464-474 


Gnatsrus Adolplnis, King of Sweden, in Germany, 1630-1632— ^Bs Character 
. — ^MotiTes and Plans in {blyoot of Protestantunn— Stralstmd— Gnstayns de- 
dazes War against Ferdinand— Lands with his Army in Pomerania— Stettin 
— ^The Protestant Princes hesitate to join GnstaTus— Ciistrin and Spandau — 
The Eleetar of Brandei^nrg— The Elector of Sazony-^Siege of Magdeburg 
Coant Tilly— Conquers and boms the City— Dreadful Kassacre— Gustayna 
and TiUy— Batde of Leipsie— Defeat of the Imperialists— Glorious Besults to 
GofltaViu— SorveBder of the Cities— Ingolstad(r~Tilly wounded— His Death 
— ^Mnnich— Prague— Ferdinand and Wallenstem— Begal sploidour of Wal- 
lenstein— His Palace — Bo apsmibles an Amiy for the Emperor — Eztravagairt 
CoBditians — ^Appointed Generalissimo— The Camp tfS Nuremberg— The Swe- 
dish aod Lnpenal Armies— Gustsms in Saaomy— Battle of Liitien, 1682 — 
Guatarua killed— ffis Death sevenged by the Swedes— Total Defieat of 
Wallenstein— Bortraitore of Gastavus Adolphus 475-491 


Contmnataon of the War, 1632-1635— Chaaoellor Qzenstieni— WaUenstehi's 
Inactioo— Court Martial over his Officers— Military Executions— Count of 
Thnm taken Prisoner and released by WaHenstein— The Emperor^s Bemon- 
strance and WaOensfeein's Beply— The Swedes in Bayaaria— WaDenstein 
withholds Asristance— Prohibits his OfBcers from obeying the Imperial Com- 
mands — ^PUsen — ^Military Conndl, and Compact between WaDenstein and 
his OiBeerB — Counts Terzka, IDo, and PicccHomini— The Emperor diyesta 
Wallenstein of all Command — ^Italian-Spanish Conspiracy against Wallen- 
Btein— PSccolomini marches against Wallenstein— Wallenstein negotiates with 
France and Sweden for his Services — The Crown of Bohemia o&red to him 
— ^Retreats to Eger — The Supper in the Citadd — ^Murder of Counts Terzka, 
IDo, and Kiasky, by Deverouz and Geraldin — ^Assassination of WaUenstein, 
1634 — His Estates oonfiscated— Succeeded in Conunand hy Ferdinand, King 
of Bome— The Battle of Nordlingen— The Elector of Saxony— P eace of 
Pragne;. 1635 — Dreadful Condition of Germany— Cardinal Rich^ieu an^ 
Chanedlor Ozensfionr— l^ncE and Swedish Alliance against the Emperor — 
IngkBtioaaCfaaxacterof the War— Death of Ferdinand LU 1637 492-498 


FMBnand HI, 1637-1657— Continuation of the Waiv-Duke Bernard of 
Wdmar on the Rhine— His Death— Cardinal Bichelieu— The Swedish Gene- 
rals— Banner— Torstenson—Wrangd— Negotiations for Peace — Tedious Pro- 
gresa— French and Swedish Claims of ^Memnification— Humiliation and 
Dumembament of tiie Empire— Territorial Sovereignty of the Princes — 
Switzeriand— The Netherlands— Final Arrangement and Condusion of the 

of Westphafia, 1648 .....: 499-507 



General OtarratMns— State of the Empire— Agricuhore— Commerce— The 
KobBity— French Language, Fashions, and Customs— Decline of Nationid 
Feelmg in Getmaay- Death of Ferdinand HL, 1657— Leopold L, 1658-1705 
^-• TfceBbqna h Leajgne— Louis XIY ^ of France— His ambitions and aggran- 
diaiigS|rfrit=^OQnqQera the Netlieriands— The Elector Frederick William of 
B r aa da d wrg— Wcstohalia— The Bhine— War between France and Germany 
— Bttde of NttbeOm, 1675-*a«cccosos of the Slecior of BraodeDburg— Qia 



energetic Character— Extends and improves his Territories— Berlin— Eonigs- 
berg — Generals Montecuculi and Turenne— Peace of Nimwegen, 1678 — The 
four French Chambers of Reunion— Tretuchery and Dhhoneftty-Of Louis 
XIV. towards Gcennany— Claims and takesTSSsessToh of Strasburg and other 
German Towns on the Rliine— Enters Strasburg in Triumph, 1681— Pusilla- 
nimity an d disgr acef ul Ine rtne8a.Qf the Germans — ^The Tu'ks in Hungary— 
Advance ainflSy siege to Vienna, 1683— IFIight of Leopold and his O^urt — 
Brave Defence of the Viennese under Count Biidiger of Stahrenberg — Relieved 
by Duke Charles of Lorraine and Sobieski, Kuig of Poland — Heroism of So- 
bieski— Battle of Naussdorf— Total Overthrow and Flight of the Turks by 
Sobieski— His Letter to his Queen— Description of the Battle 511-527 


IVesh War with France, 1688-1697 — AHl gace of Enffland, Holland, and Spain, 
against Louis XIV. — The French in GRSrmany— Dreaoful Devastation and 
unheard of Cruelties committed by Orders of Louis XIV. — Conflagration and 
complete Destruction of Heidelb^, Worms, and Spires — ^Deplorable Condi- 
tion of the Inhabitants— The Tombs of the Emperors pillaged— Peace of 
Bysvdck, 1697 — Compensation deiaanded for Germany — ^Insolence of the 
French Ambassadors — Elevation of the Genosui Princes— The First Elector 
of Hanover— Frederick, Elector of Saxony, ascends the Throne of Poland, 
1696— Fredeiick, Elector of Brandenburg, places the Crown on his own 
Head as King of Prussia, 1701 — ^War of the Spanish Succession, between 
France and the House of Austria, 1701-1714— William IIL, of England- 
Louis XIV. Proclaims his Grandson, Philip of Anjou, King of bpain — 
Prince Eug^e — His military Genius and private Character — Appointed 
Conunander-in-Chief of the Imperiid Army — His Reply to Louis XIV. — 
Marches into Italy — Defeats the French at Carpi and Chiari — ^England — 
Louis XIV. and the Exiled Stuarts— The Duke of Marlborough, General of 
of the Allied Army — The Elector of Bavaria— The Bavarians in the Tyrol — 
Their Overthrow by the Tyrolese— Battle of Hochstadt— Blenheim— Tri- 
umphant Victory gained by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, 
1704— The Duke of Marlborough created a Prince of the Empire — ^Death of 
Leopold L, 1706 527-588 


Joseph I., 1705-1711— Continuation of the War— Riots in Bavaria— The Elec- 
tor outlawed — Marshal Villeroi— Battles of Ramillies and Turin, 1706 — 
Triumph of Marlborough and Eugene — Complete Overthrow of the French — 
General Capitulation— Naples— Spain— Battles of Oudenarde andMalplaquet, 
1708-1709 — Defeat of the French under Bourgoyne, Vendome, and Villiis- 
Humiliation of Louis XIV. — England — Qi^n Anne — Marlborough re- 
called and dismissed— Death of Joseph L, 1711— Charles VI., 1711-1740 — 
Peace of Utrecht, 1713— Peace of Rastadt and Baden, 1714— Death of Louis 
XIV.i 1715 — ^The House of Austria in its lielations with the Germanic Em- 
pire—Peaceful Reign of Charles VL— His Death, 1740— Maria Theresa of 
Austria— Her Title to the Imperial Throne disputed by Charles Albert of Ba- 
varia — Frederick H. of Prussia — His extraordinary Genius and energetic 
Character — His Army — ^Invades Austria — The First Silesian War, 1740- 
1742— Glogau — Sanguinary Battle of Molwitz— Defeat of the Austrians — ^Al- 
liance dT France, Spain, Bavaria, and Saxony, against Austria in Support of 
Charles Albert — Hanover — ^George IL of Enghmd — Charles Albert, King of 
Pohmd— Election of Emperor in Frankfort 539-555 


Charles VIL, Emperor of Germany, 1742-1745— Maria Theresa in Hungary — 
Her Appeal to the Nobles — Their Devotion to her Cause — March into Ba- 
variar-^Seize that Country and banish its Elector— Charles VIL a Fugitive 
— ^Battle of Czaslau, between the Austrians and Prussians, 1742 — Treaty of 
Peace between Maria Theresa and Frederick IL — Continuation of the Aus- 
trian Succession War, 1742-1744 — ^The French in Prague under Marshal 
Belle-Isle— Prague besieged by the Austrians — ^Abandoned by the French — 
Charles VIL in Bavari*— Again a Fugitive— George IL of England in Gter- 




many— Battle of Dettingen, 1743— Defeat of the French— Alliance of Saxony 
and Austria — Second Silesian War, 1744-1745— niHraocess of Frederick — 
Death of Charles YIL, 1745— SUesia— Battle of Hohenfriedberg— Frederick 
Tictorioos — ^Battle of Sorr — ^The Princes of Brunswick — ^Frederick trium- 
phant—Battle of Keflseldorf- Frederick conquers and enters Dresden — 
Peace of Dresden and End of the Second Silesian War — ^Francis I. elected 
Emperor, 1745-1765 — Austria and France — Peace of Aiz-Ia-Chapelle, 1748 — 
Brief Interval of Bepose, 1748-1756— State of Affairs— Alliance of England 
and Prussia, 1756 — Alliance between France and Austria, 1756 — Saxony — 
Russia — Sweden — Ck>mbination:of Powers against Prussia — ^I^ Seven Years' 
War, 1756-1763— Frederick in Saxony— Battle of Losowitz, 1756— Frederick 
victorious — The Saxons lay down their Arms — Frederick Conqueror of 
Saxony — ^Immense Armies opposed to Frederick — His Presence of Mind — 
Desperate Battle of Prague— Charles of Lorraine — Death of the Prussian 
General Schwerin and the Austrian General Brown — ^Frederick victorious — 
Battle of Kollin — General Daun — Frederick's grand Manceuvre — Generals 
Ziethen and Hulsen — ^Frederick and Prince Maurice of Dessau — Defeat of 
Frederick — Shameful Conduct of the Duke of Cumberland — Convention of 
Closter-Seven between him and the French— Battle between the Russians and 
Prussians at Grossjagersdorf— Defeat of the Prussians— Withdrawal of the 
Bnssians — ^The Empress Elizabeth of Russia — ^The Grand Chancellor Bestus- 
chef— Retreat of the Swedes 555-571 


Continuation of the Seven Years' War, 1757-1760— Battle of Rossbach, 1757— 
Total Defeat of the Frendi — General Seidlitz and the Prussian Cavalry — 
Reversesof Frederick— Silesia— Battle of Leuthen, 1757— Frederick's Appeal 
to his Officers and Army — Their Enthusiasm— Complete Overthrow of the 
Anstrians— Glorious Results to Frederick — His [proposals of Peace rejected 
by Maria Theresa — ^France — ^Russia — ^England's Enthusiasm for F^erick — 
William Pitt — ^England supports Frederick — l^rea^^pfJClosterrSeyen dis- 
avowed — ^Duke Fei^inand (^Brunswick General-m-Chief of the Allied Army 
— ^Defeats and drives away the French from Germany — ^Frederick in SUesia — 
Schweidnitz — ^Frederick's rapid March into Moravia — Olmiitz — ^Bohemia — 
Pomerania — ^Battle between the Bussians and Prussians at Zomdorf, 1758 — 
Dreadful Slaughter and Defeat of the Russians — The Prussians attacked and 
defeated by the Austrians at Hochkirch, 1758— Frederick's Presence of Mind 
— ^The Prussian Army — The Imperial Diet — The Prince of Mecklenburg — 
The Imperial Ban against Frederidt proposed — Negatived — The Allied and 
French Armies — ^Battle of Bei^sen, 1759— Partial Success of the French- 
Battle of Minden — Shameful Conduct of the English General, SackviUe— 
Defeat of the French— Battle of Kay and Kunersdorf, 1759— Total Defeat 
of the Prussians — ^Frederick's Mirfortunes — His Despair — Prince Henry of 
Prussia— Continued Reverses of Frederick— BaUle of liegnitz, 1760— The 
Prussians defeat the Austrians— Beneficial Results to Frederick — Battle of 
Torgau, 1760— Total Defeat of the Austrians— Frederick in Leipsic 572-593 


ConcluBion of the Seven Years' War, 1761-1762— The Austrian and Russian 
Aimies— The Camp of Bunzdwitz— Frederick's difficult Position— Jealousy 
between Generals Butterlin and Laudon— Schweidnitz, Glatz, and Colberg— 
Saxony — Berlin threatened by the Russians — The Prussians rise en masse to 
expd them— Death of Elizabeth of Russia— Peter IH.— Peace and Alliance 
betwera Russia and Prussia— Sweden— Battle of Reichenbach— Frederick 
victorious— Schweidnitz— Final Battle and Defeat of the Austrians at Frei- 
berg—P^oe between France and England, 1763 — ^Peace between Prussia and 
Austria aTHubertsburg, 1763— Ob^rvadons — ^The Age of Frederick the 
Great — His Army — Exerts himself to repair the Calamities of his Country — 
His indefatigable Industry — His Labours and Recreations — Genius for Poetry 
and Music— His Early Years— His Father's Tyranny— Its sad Effects even- 
tually proved— His Predilection for French Education and Literature— 
Voltaire— Hdvetius, &c.-Hi8 Anti-German Feelings and Neglect of Na- 




tioiud QeniiM — ^Lening^-Klopstock — Goethe — ^Kant-^Fichte-^acobi, &c.,— 
Joseph II. 1765-1790 — Dumemherment of Poland, 1773 — Prussia and Russia 
— Stanislaus Poniatowski — ^Bavarian War of Succession, 177 8 — DeaiTi oTMaria 
Theresa, 1 780 — Innoyations and intolerant Measures of Joseph n. — ^Frederick 
and the Allied Princes of Germanj against Joseph IL — ^Death of Frederick 
the Great, 1786--I>eath of Joseph IL, 1790— Leopold II., 1790-179S 694-615 


Leopold n. and the State of France — France declares War against Austria, 
the Imperial States, HoUiiad* Bgsan, &c., 1792 — ^Francis U. Emperor of Ger- 
many, 1792-1 906^Frussia — Successes of the Allies — General Dumouriez and 
the Republican Army — The Austrians defeated at Jemappes — ^The Nether- 
lands republicanized— Defeat of Dumouriez at Neerwinden, 1798 — Joins the 
Allies— Continued Successes of the Allies under the Dukes of York and 
Coburg^—Camot— Generals Pichegru and Jourdan — ^Battles of Toumay and 
Fleunu — Jourdan's Aerial Reconnoitering Messenger, or the A4jutant in the 
Balloon — ^Deibat of the Allies — Successes of the French — Conquests in 
Flanders, Holland, and the Rhine — ^Kaiserslautem — ^Peace'of Basle, 1795 — 
Eng^d and Austria— France — ^The Austrian Generals Beaulieu, Wurmser, 
and Archduke Charles — Napoleon Buonaparte, 1796 — Appointed General 
in Italy — ^His Army — ^His Conquests and rich Booty made in Italy — The 
French in Germany — ^Archduke Charles — Moreau— His famous Retteat — 
Mantua — Buonap arte in jjfennany — His rapid Marches — Vienna — Peaoe__o£. 
Campo-Formio, I797=^Shameful Conditions— State of Europe — ^Alliance of 
England, Russia, Austria, ancTTurkey— Hostilities resumed, 1798~Buona- 
parte in Egypt — Cairo— Aboukir — His Fleet destroyed by Nelson— Italy — 
General Suwaroff— His Successes in Italy — Genoa^-Switzerland — SuwaroflTs 
Passage across the Alps— His desperate Appeal to his Soldiers — His Recall — 
The Emperor Paul and England —Buonaparte First Consul, 1799 — Genoa — 
Battle of Marengo, 1800 — General Desaix — Moreau in Germany — Peace of 
Lun^ville, 1801--^ad Results to, and Sacrifices made by, Germany — Resig- 
nation of William Pitt— Peace of Amiens, 1802^England declares War 
against Franoe, 1803 — ^Buonaparte takes Possession of Hanover — The Ger- 
man Legion ; 615-634 


Napoleon's Consulship — Gains the Nation's Confidence— Restores internal 
Tranquillity and improves the Institutions — Napoleon Emperor of the 
French, 1804— His Usurpations — Alliance of Austria, Russia, and England 
— War declared — Napoleon in Germany, 1805 — Defeats the Austrians — 
Uhn— General Mack— Battle of Austerlitz— The Allies defeated— Peace of 
Presburg — Dismemberment of the States of Germany — Naples — Joseph Buo- 
naparte — Holland — Iiouis Buonaparte— Rhenigh Confederation, or League of 
theJienaap Pxlacpfl — Their Degeneration—^The Emperor of Austria lays 
down his Title of Emperor of Germany, 1806— Prussia — Declares War 
against France — ^The Prussian Army— Battle of SaaUeld — Death of Prince 
I^wis Ferdinand of Prussia — Battles of Jena and Auerstadt — Defeat of the 
Prussians — Napoleon enters Berlin— The Russian and Prussian Alliance 
—Battles of Eylau and Friedland— Defeat of the Allies— Peace of Tilsit 
between Russia and France, 1807 — Prussia's Dismemberment — ^Westphalia 
— Hesse — Jerome Buonaparte — Prussia— lieutenant Schill — Napoleon's 
triumphant Return to Paris 634-644 


Austria declares War against France, 1809 — Battles of Gross- Aspem and 
Esslingen — Archduke Charles — The Austrians victorious — Lieutenant 
Schill killed— Execution of Palm, the Bookseller— The Tfrolese— Battle of 
Wagram — Defeat of the Austrians — Peace of Vienna— The French in the 
Tyrol — The Mountaineers overpowered — Execution of Hofer, the Tyrolese 
Patriot— The Duke of Brunswick — His Territory seized — His bold March — 
Embarks for England— His Heroic Death — Napoleon at the Heipht of his 
Power — MarriajK' with the Archduchess Maria I^iiisa of Austria, Bio - 



Hi8 oontinq ed U8 nrpft»if)»^« in Germany — His Campaign in Russia, 1812 — 
Conflagration of Moscow — The French Army destroyed — Napoleon's Flight 
and Betum to F^iris — ^The King of Prussia's Declaration and general Arming 
of Ida Nation against the Invaders, 1$13— Nfappleon's Preparations — The 
French in Germany 645-655 


Successes of t he Pru ssians— The Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz — ^His Daughter, 
tiie Qneen at Frnssia^-Erfturt — Russia unites with Prussia — ^Battle of Liitzen 
— NiqMleon in Dresden — ^The King of Saxony— Battle of Bautzen — Hamburg 
taken by Marshal Davoust— Heavy Contributions — ^The Armistioe — ^Prussia 
— ^nie Liitzow Free Corps — Theodore Komer — Austria endeavours to nego- 
tiate a Teace between France and the Allies — ^The Congress at Prague — 
Napoleon refuses all Concession — ^The Emperor of Austria declares War, 
and joins Russia and Prussia — ^Dresden— Renewal of Hostilities— Strength 
and Position of the AlUed Forces — ^Bemadotte — ^Blucher — ^Prince Schwartz- 
enberg — Marshal Oudinot — ^Bottle of Gross-Beeren — ^Defeat of the French.655-667 


Glorious JITictory^of the Prussians under Bliicher at Katzbach — Bliicher 
created Prince of Wahlstadt — ^Battle of Dresden — ^Defeat of the Austrians — 
Death of General Moreau— Battle of Kulm— General Kleist — Generals Van- 
damme and Haxo made Prisoners — ^Battle of Dennewitz — ^Battle of War- 
tenburg — General York — ^Preparations for the Battle of Leipsic — The French 
Army — ^Honours and Promotions conferred by Napoleon — The Allied Forces 
— ^Prince Schwartzenberg 667-675 


The Three Days' Battle of Leipsic — Murat — The Austrian General Meerveldt 
taken iVisoner—Battle of Mockem — Marshals Marmont and Bliicher — Ge- 
neral Horn — ^Total Defeat of the French — Buonaparte's Offers to negotiate 
r^ected — ^Breitenfeld — ^Bemadotte — ^Bennigsen — The Prince of Hesse-Hom- 
harg — Prince Foniatowsky — ^Probstheyda — The Saxon Army deserts Buo- 
naparte and joins the Allies — The Allied Soverdgns — Night Scene on the 
Vk^ of Battle — ^Buonaparte's Slumber— Retreat of the French — Destruction 
of the Elster Bridge— Prince Poniatowsky's Death— Triumphant Entry of 
the Allies into Leipsic 676-685 


Nj^leon's Retreat across the Rhine— Bavaria— General Wrede — Hanau — The 
Allied Forces invade France — Their rapid March — Napoleon against Bliicher 
—Battle of Bri^nne — Battle of Rothidre — Repulse of the French — Temporary 
Successes at Napoleon — ^Tlie Congress of Ghatillon— Napoleon's Confidence 
restored — ^His Declaration — ^Bliicher's bold Movement— Soissons — ^Laon — 
Napoleon against Schwartzenberg — Rheims — Ards — Napoleon's desperate 
Courage and final Charge with his Cavaliy 686-693 


The French and Allied Armies in Battle Array — Napoleon's Sudden and Mys- 
terious Retreat before Action — His secret Designs for the Destruction of the 
Allies — His Plot Discovered — ^The Allies before Paris — Its Capitulation — 
Triumphant Entry of the Allies into that City — ^Napoleon deposed — ^Louis 
XVnL King of France — ^Napoleon at Fontainebleau — ^His Abdication — Ba- 
nishment to Elba — ^Peace Signed at Paris— Conclusion 694-700 



The Sources of the most andent German Histoiy — ^The Nature of the Country — 
The Natiyes — The Gtermanic Baces — ^Manners and Cnatoms — Ciyil Inatitutions — 
War — ^RegolatioDs and Aims — ^Religion— Arts and Mannfactures — ^The Ger- 
manic Tribes. 


The histoiy of the origin, and of the earliest state of the German 
nation, is involved in impenetrable obscurity. No records tell us 
when, and imder what circumstances, our ancestors migrated out 
of Asia, the cradle of the human race, into our fatherland; what 
causes urg^ them to seek the re^ons of the north, or what allied 
branches they left behind them m the countries they quitted. A 
few scattered and obscure historical traces, as well as a resemblance 
in various customs and regulations, but more distinctly the affinities 
of language, indicate a relationship with the Indians, Servians, and 
the (jreeks.* 

This obscurity of our earliest history must not surprise us; for 
every nation, as long as it lives in a half savage state, without a 
written language, neglects every record of its history beyond mere 
traditions and songs, which pass down from generation to genera- 
tion. But as these, even in their very origin, blend fiction with 
truth, they naturally become, in the course of centuries, so much 
disfigured, that scarcely the least thread of historical &ct is to be 
found in liiem. Not a syllable or sound of even those traditions and 
songs, wherein, according to the testimony of the Romans, our an- 
cestora also delighted to celebrate the deeds and fate of their people, 
has, however, descended to posterity. 

Our authentic history, consequently, commences at the period 
when our ancestors, possibly after they had dwelt for centunes, or 
even a tho««md years, in our native country, fi«t came into con- 
tact with a nation that already knew and practised the art of his- 

* According to more recent researches, it is ccmdaded that the ancient Sanscrit 
and Zend lanpiages may have formed likewise the basis of the German tongue, 
€r at least have approximated more dosely with the common primitiTe dialect 



torical writing. This happened through the incursion of the Cim- 
brians and Teutonians into the country of the Romans, in the year 
113 before the birth of Christ. But this intercourse Y^as too tran- 
sitory, and the strangers were too unknown, and too foreign to the 
Romans, for them, wno were sufficiently occupied with themselves, 
and besides which, looked haughtily upon all that was alien, to in- 
quire very particularly into their ongin and history. 

And even the relation of this contest against the German tribes, 
howsoever important it was to the Romans, we are obliged to seek 
laboriously from many authors ; for the source whence we should 
draw most copiously, is precisely here dried up, the books of the 
Roman author, Livy, which treated of this war in detail, having 
been lost, together with many others; and we only possess — whicE 
we may even consider as very fortunate — ^their mere table of con- 
tents, by means whereof, viz., those of the 63 — 68 books, we can 
at least trace the course of ihe chief events of the war. Beyond 
this, we derive some solitary facts irom Roman historians of the 
second and third class, who give but a short and partially mutilated 
account, and collectively lived too long after this period to be con- 
sidered as authentic sources. To those belong — 1, the " Epit. Rer. 
Rom.'' of Florus (according to some, a book of the Augustan age, 
but according to others, the work of L. Ann^sus Florus, who lived 
at the commencement of the second century under Adrian); 2, the 
" History of the World" of Velleius Paterculus, in a brief outline, 
down to the period of Tiberius, who lived about the time of the birth 
of Christ; 3, the ^' De Stratagematibus" of Frontinus (about 150 
years after Christ) contains some good notices of the Cimbiian war; 
4, the *^ Dicta et Facta Memorabilia'^ of Valerius Maximus (about 
20 years after Christ); 5, the " History of the World" of Jus- 
tin (about the year 150) ; and 6, the ^^ oketch of the Roman His- 
tory" of Eutropius (about the year 375), present us with much — 
and again much is supplied us, incidentally, by the Roman writers 
who Old not directly write history. 

Among those wno wrote in Grreek, must stand: 1, Plutarch, 
(about 100 years B. 0.), in his biography of '' Marius/' besides 
whom, good details may be gleaned m)m: 2, Diodorus Siculus 
(about the period of the birth of Christ), in his '^ Historical Library ;** 
3, Appian (about the year 160), in his ethnographically arranged 
^' History of the Romans," (particularly in the cap., '^DeKeb. C^t.^' 
and '' De Reb. Qlyr."); 4, Dio Cassius (about the year 222), in the 
fragments which are preserved of his ^^ Roman History;" and among 
those who treat of geography, Strabo (about the penod of the birth 
of Christ) especially. 

After the Cimbrian era, another half century passes before the 
Romans again mention the Germans. It was towards the middle of 
the last century before the birth of Christ, when JuliusCeesar advanced 
to the frontiers of what may be truW considered Germany. He him- 
self mentions having fought with Aiiovistus in Graul| and afterwards 


with ooitne German tribes on the left bank of the Rhine, and that 
lie twice united the banks of this riyer by means of a bridge, and 
0ei foot npon the opposite ade; besides which, he^yesus all the in- 
formation he oonid obtain firom the Grauls, trayeUin^ merchants, or 
German captiyes, relatiye to the nature and condition of Germany 
and its people. His information is inyaluable to us, although it is 
but scan^, fragmentary, and, to a certain extent, not to be depended 
upon. For this great commander, who stroye £ot absolute rule; 
wno used mankind— he cannot be freed from the charge — as the 
means to his end; who, from the depth of an abeady corrupted 
state of ciyilization, could not possibly estimate the simple, natural 
dignity of such a nation; and who, lastly, in order to be considered 
worthy of belief in eyery thin^ he relates, too well understood the 
art of representing eyents to his own adyantage, — such a writer, we 
say, cannot truly be regarded by us without some degree of mistrust. 
After him there <xxn]r8 another intenral of about fifty years, 
during which the obecaiilr of our history is scarcely illuminated by 
a angle ray of foreign obseryation, until about the period of the 
birth of Christ, and when, immediatelyafter, the Romans again set foot 
upon, and, for a longer period, trayersed the German soil. They then 
became tolerably well acquainted with the south-west and north-west 
of Germany; or, rather, they might haye become well acquainted 
therewith, had their prejudiced and selfish minds, which were barred 
against all foreign pecujiarities, been properly competent to it, and 
had not the diflicult extremities to which they were reduced in Ger- 
many too mudi occupied them, and rendered them unjust in their 
judgment of the country and its inhabitants. In order to expose 
themselyes to less shame for being seyeral times seyerely cut up by 
the yery force of arms borne by those they called bexbarians, by 
whom they were frequently surpassed in prudence and warlike sub- 
tlety; they necessarily, notwithstanding the decisiye yictories of 
which they boasted, when driyen from tne German soil, extenuated 
their own misfortunes, and exaggerated those of their opponents, 
whom they aecused occasionally or deceit, when probably, on the 
oontmy, the most open conduct preyailed, and generally, in fiact, 
they heaped upon the Germans and tiieir country the mostoppro- 
fanous charges. No impartial man among them, who was an eye- 
witness of their incursions, describes to us faithfully the eyents them- 
sdyes, and the €lerman nation generally. The only historian of the 
period who nught haye done so, Yelleius Paterculus, the seryant of 
the Emperor Hberius, and the friend of his fayourite, Sganus, who, 
in the* years immediately preceding and succeeding the birth of 
Christ was himself inGennany — ^that is to say, on the banks of the 
Elbe, with the army of the emperor— shows himself^ in the yery 
seaaty notices be gryes, only as a flatterer of his despotic lord, whose 
deeds he eleyates to the sides in inflated and extrayagant language. 

A second Roman writer, who also had seen (^rmany, Puny 
the elder, (and who died in the year 79 A. d.,) had been upon 



the northern coast of Germany, among the Chauci, but certainly 
did not travel &r into the land. In his *' Hist. Nat./' which is an 
Encyclops3dia of general knowledge, he gives us several valuable 
notices of the natural condition of our country, and of its tribes and 
nations. His information and iud^ent, however, must be used with 
precaution, as his critical sagacity is often questionable. But we have 
suffered an irreparable lossSa his twenty books, which treated of all 
the wars of the Romans with the Germans, not the least fra^ent 
of which has come down to us. He lived so near the period that he 
might have collected the information as correctly as it was to be ob- 
tained. We may, however, in some degree console ourselves that 
Tacitus (about lOk) years A. D.), who cites his precursors as testi- 
monies, availed himself of the work of Pliny; but Tacitus only 
relates the German wars in part, and does not treat them as the prin- 
cipal subject, whilst, also, much from him that was important is lost 
to us. His "Annals," which relate the Roman history from the 
death of Augustus to the death of Nero, commence after the great 
German battle of liberty with Varus; but of these annals all m)m 
the seventh to the tenth book is also wanting, and the fifth and six- 
teenth books have come down to us only in an imperfect state. We, 
nevertheless, acknowledge him to be by far the chief and most im- 
portant author as regards our earlier German history, and revere his 
elevated feeling for moral dignity, for truth and justice, in what he 
also relates of the contests between the Romans and Germans, al- 
though, faultlessly on his part, he does not always drisiw his infor- 
mation from a pure source. But we value him for we treasure he has 
left us in his description of Germany and its people, (" De Situ ac 
Moribus Germ."). His deep feeUn^ for simphcity of manners, and 
healthy energy of nature, had made him a warm friend towards 
the German natives; and it appeared to him that a faithful descrip- 
tion of the German nation would be a work worthy of his pen, 
so that, when placed before his corrupted countrymen, it should 
present to their view a picture which might bring manv of those 
whose minds were as yet not quite unsusceptible, to acknowledge 
their own unnatural condition. For this purpose he collected wl 
that he could obtain from the earlier authors, from the oral informa- 
tion of the Romans who had been in Germany, and from the Ger- 
mans who were in the Roman service. Thus arose this invaluable 
book, which may be called a temple of honour to the German na- 
tion, and which illuminates, like a bright star, the commencement 
of their otherwise obscure path. Some things, indeed, through too 
great a predilection, may be placed by him in too favourable a light; 
but, even if much be deducted, still suflScient that is praiseworthy 
remains, and that the material portion is true, we may be assured of 
by the incorruptible love of truth of the noble Roman, which speaks 
BO triumphantly in aU his works. 

Among the remainder of the less important historians who con- 
tributed to our earliest history, and are already mentioned in the 


notloe of the Cimbrian war, Dio Cassius may 1)e included as im- 
portant; for the later wars may be named, Suetonius TllO years 
XJD.j esteemed by Trajan and Adrian), in his biograpny of the 
twelve first Caesars; the " Scriptores Hist. Augustae," towards the 
end of the* third century; ^lius Spartianus, JuUus Capitolinus, 
and Flavius Vopiscus; Aurelius Victor (330), in his biography of 
the Caesars, from Augustus to Constantine ; and Paulus Orosius (417), 
in liis histoiy. Among the geographical writers, besides Strabo and 
Pomponius Mela (48), we may name in particular Claudius Ptolo- 
mseus (140), who constructed a system of geography upon a lost 
work of Tjrrian Marinos, and was particularly careful in the deter- 
mination of longitude and latitude. 

But even when we have brought together all of the best that ancient 
authors supply us with upon Germany, and console ourselves over the 
great chasms they leave, with the idea that still something has de- 
scended to us both great and important, we must nevertheless con- 
sider it but as the testimony of strangers, — of the people of the South, 
dififerinff essentially firom the Germans in nature and character, igno- 
rant ol their language, and, with the exception of one instance, 
indifierent, or rather inimically-minded, towards them. Not a 
angle German word, correcting the judgment of the Romans, or 
elucidating the thread of events which the Romans could neither 
see nor understand, resounds to us from yonder period. How much 
richer, and certainly more honourable, would the picture develop 
itself before us, did we also possess German records ! 

But it was not until many centuries later, after multifarious con- 
Tul^ons had taken place, and most of the constituent parts of 
ancient times had disappeared from their seat, that isolated and 
scanty sources of history commenced flowing from original German 
testimony, by writers who, driven with their countrymen to foreign 
lands, there endeavoured to relate their career and fate. Their names 
will be mentioned at the commencement of the second period. 

After what is stated above, we must rest contented with giving as 
true a picture as possible of ancient Gennan history, derived as it is from 
the Roman and Greek writers, and by conclusions drawn from later 
tesdmony upon earUer times, admitting that much must necessarily 
appear ooscure, fragmentary, and contradictory, and that upon many 
points opinions will for ever remain divided. The period to which 
the following description belongs, is about the time of the birth of 
Christ, and the few immediately succeeding centuries. 


According to the description of the Romans, Germany was, at 
the time they first became acquainted with it, a rude and inhos- 
nitable land, full of immense forests, marshes, and desert tracts. 
Xhe great Hercynian forest, by Csesar^s account, extended from the 
Alps over a space, that in its length occupied sixty, and in its width 
nine days* journey; consequently, all the chief mountain chains and 


forests of the present German j, must be the lemnants of that one 
stupendous wooded range. But Caesar, from the indefinite informa- 
tion he received, owing to his ignorance of the German language, 
applied the general German word, Harty or Harz^ for mountain, to 
the collective mountain forests of the land, which, however, the 
natives certainly already distinguished by different appellations. 
Later authors, viz., Pliny and Tacitus, circumscribe the Hercynian 
forests to those ch^ns of mountains which, to the south of the 
Thuringian forest, enclose Bohemia, and in the east extend to Mo- 
ravia and Hungary. They also, as well as Ptolemy, subsequently, 
mention many mdividual mountains by pecuhar names; for example, 
Mons Abnoba, the Black Forest, (Ptolemy seems to hDoply by Inis, 
the mountains between the Maine, the Rmne, and the Weser); the 
Mehbokos mountains, the present Harz; the Semana forest, to the 
south of the Harz, towards the Thuringian forest; the Sudeta forest, 
a portion of the Thuringian forest; the Gabreta forest, the Bohe- 
mian forest; the Askihurgish mountains, according to some the ErZy 
or rather the J?ztfiren-G«birg ; the Taunus^ the heights between 
Wiesbaden and Homburg; the Teutsbui^er forest, tiie moimtain 
and forest tracts which extend from the W eser through Paderbom, 
as far as Osnaburg. Caesar mentions besides, the Bacems forest, 
probably the western portion of the Thuringian forest, which ex- 
tends into Fulda, and in the middle ages was called Bocaima, or 
Buchonia; and Tacitus names the SUvia C^Bsia^ between the Ems 
and the Isscl, the remains of which may be the Haser forest, and 
the Baumberge, near Coesfeld; and that town itself may probably 
have preserved the name. Many other less important or uncertain 
names we pass over. 

The large German forests consisted probably, as now, principally of 
oaks, beeches, and pines. The Romans admired, above all, the immense 
oaks, which seemed to them coeval with the earth itself. Pliny, 
who had been personally in the north of Westphalia, in the counti^ 
of the Chauci, expresses himself thus upon them : " Created with 
the earth itself, untouched by centiuies, the monstrous trunks sur- 
pass, by their powerful vitality, all other wonders of nature." 

The Romans were also acquainted with the majority of German 
rivers: JDantdnus, the Danube; Bhenus^ the Rmne; Moenns, the 
Maine; Allns, the Elbe; Vtsurgis^ the Weser; VtadrtiSy the Oder; 
the Vistula; Nicer, the Necker; Luppiuj the Lippe; Amisia, the 
Ems; Adrana, the Eder; iSia/la^ (in Strabo alone), the Saale; and 
some others. It is remarkable that the Romans do not mention the 
Lahn and the Ruhr, although they must surely have become ac- 
quainted with them in their campaigns in the north of Germany. 
The German rivers were not at that period made passable by means 
of bridges, which the native did not require, as he easily swam 
across the former, and for wider transits he had his boats. 

The soil of the land was not cultivated as now, although the 
Romans call portions of it extremely fertile, and agriculture and 


{Mstmage were tlxe chief occapations of the Grermans* Rye, barley, 
oats, and, accoiding to the opinions of some, wheat also, were culti- 
Tated; flax was everywhere distributed; various sorts of carrots and 
tiumipB it certainly produced; the Romans admired radishes of the 
oze of a child's head, and mention asparagus, which they, indeed, did 
not praise, and a species of parsley, which pleased them much. The 
superior firuits of southern climates which have been subsequently 
transplanted among them, might probably not then thrive, althougn 
Pliny mentions aspecies of cherry found near the Rhine, and fa- 
citos names among the food of the Germans wild-tree firuits (agrestia 
pinna\ which must certainly have been better than our crab-apples. 

The pastures were rich and beautiful, and the homed cattle as 
well as the horses, although small and inconsiderable, yet of a good 
and durable kind. 

The most important of all condiments, salt, the Grermans found 
upcm their native soil, nor did it refuse them that most useful of all 
metah, iron, and they understood the art of procuring and manu&c- 
toxing it; they do not, however, appear to have dug for silver. 

or the many strengthening mineral springs which the coimtry 
number, the Romans already mention Spa and Wiesbaden. 

The dimate, in consequence of the immense forests, whose density 
was impervious to the rays of the sun, and owing to the un-* 
drained fens and marshes, was colder, more foggy and inclement 
than at present, was nevertheless not quite so baa perhaps as repre* 
sented l^ the Romans, spoilt as they were by the luxurious climate of 
Italv. Accordingtothem thetrees were without leaves for eight months 
in the year, and the large rivers were regularly so deeply and firmly 
fioien that they could bear upon them the heavy fiela-equipages of 
Ae azmy. " The Germans," says PEny, " know onljr three seasons, 
winter, sfnring, and summer; of autumn they know neither the name 
nor its fruits. The Romans found the country in general so un- 
genial, that th^ considered it quite impossible that any one should 
qmt ItaW to dwell in Germany. 

But the ancient Grermans loved this country beyond all, because, 
as firee men, they were bom in it, and the nature of the cHmate 
hdned them to defend this fi:eedom. The forests and marshes ap- 
palled the enemy; the severity of the air as well as the chase of wild 
animahj strengthened the bodies of the men, and nourished b^ a 
sim]^ diet, they grew to so stately a size that other nations admired 
diem with astonishment. 


The RcMuans justly conddered the German nation as an aboriginal, 
pare, and unmixed race of people. They resembled themselves alone; 
and Hke the spedificaUy similar plants of the field, which springingfirom 
a pmre seed, not raised in the hotbed of a garden, but germinating 
in Ihe heal^y, free, unsheltered soil, do not differ from each other 
by varieties, so also, among the thousands of the dmple German race, 


there was but one determined and equal form of body. Their chest was 
wide and strong ; their hair yellow, and with young children it was of a 
dazzling white. Their skin was also wlute, uieir eyes blue, and their 
glance bold and piercing. Their powerftd, gigantic bodies, which 
the Romans and Grauls could not behold without fear, displayed the 
strength that nature had given to this people, for accormng to the 
testimony of some of the ancient writers their usual height was 
seven feet. 

From their earliest youth upwards they hardened their bodies by 
all devisable means. Kew-bom infants were dipped in cold water, 
and the cold bath was continued during their whole lives as the 
strengthening renovator by both boys and girls, men and women. 
Their dress was a broad short mande fastened by a girdle, or the 
skins of wild animals, the trophies of the successful chace; in both 
sexes a great portion of the body was left uncovered, and the winter 
did not induce them to clothe themselves warmer. The children 
ran about almost naked, and effeminate nations, who with difficulty 
reared their children during the earliest in&ncy, wondered how 
those of the Germans, without cradles or swaddling bands, should 
grow up to the very fullest bloom of health. 

The Romans called our nation, from its warlike and valiant mode of 
thinking, Germans ;* a name which the Turnip -—a body of German 
warriors, who, at an earUer period, crossed the Rhine, and colonized, 
with arms in hand, among the Grauls, — first bore, and subsequently 
applied to all their race, to express thereby their warlike manners, and 
thus to impress their enemies with terror. This name was williiigly 
adopted, as a name of honour, by all Germans, and thus it remainea. 

The aboriginal name of the people is, however, without doubt 
the same which they bear to the present day. It springs from the 
word Diot (in the Gothic, Thiudu)^ whicn signifies Nation. A 
Teutscher or Deutscher, according to the harder or softer pronun- 
ciation, was, therefore, one belonging to the nation^ which styled 
itself so prcrogatively. 

Accoroing to history, it was some centuries after the decline of 
the Roman dominion, that the name of the nation of Germans was 
again heard of, and it is found in but few records prior to Otto I., the 
earliest of which bears the date of the year 813. 

It must not appear remarkable to us, that the original collective 
name of the people was little used in the earlier periods, and was 
probably unknown to the Romans. In the intercourse with a nation 
composed of so many septs, the names of only those septs transpired 

* Most probably from the word per, spear or lanoe, and the word man — the man, the 
lord or chief. Therefore, in aqy case, a warlike title of honour, which distinguished 
the manliness and valour of the nation. It is worthy of remark, that the name 
Gemianenf which, before Cssar, no Roman author mentions, appears on a marble 
slab discovered in the year 1547, and which is connected with the celebrated Fastis 
CapiioUniSf in the year, before the birth of Christ, 223. The consul Marcellus gained 
in that year a victory over the Gallic chief Yiridomar, who is inscribed upon that 
captured slab a leader of the Gauls and Cfennanen, 


with whom that communication took place, because each held itself 
to be a nation (Diot); and so also later, when various tribes asso- 
ciated together in bodies, merely the name of the union appeared: 
as, the ouevi, the Marcomanni, the Allemanni, the Gotns, the 
Franks, and the Saxons. It is, however, remarkable enough, that 
we meet with the original national name in that of the Teu- 
tonians, which is already used by P^eas, 300 years before the birth 
of Christ, and which again recurs m the Gimbrian war. 


Ancient authors mention several German tribes, as well as their 
dwelling-places, with greater or less precision. Several of them also 
speak of toe chief tribes amongst which the single septs imited them- 
selves. But their statements are not sufficientlv unanimous or pre- 
cise, to give us that dear view which we would, however, so wil- 
lingly obtain. For how desirable would it not be for us to be able, 
even in the very cradle of our history, to point out the original dis- 
tinctions of the races as yet discovered, and which display them- 
selves in the different dialects of the German language, as well as 
in many essential differences in the manners of the people, particu- 
larly in those of the less sophisticated peasant^ ! [But we are here 
up(Mi too insecure a foundation, allliough it still yields us some few 
features always important. 

The most obscure account presented to us is the fivefold division 
of tribes given by Pliny. Beginning at the extreme north coast, 
towards tne estuary of the Vistula, he first mentions the ViniUans or 
WtRdiler; farther westward, towards the East Sea coast, and beyond 
the Gimbrian peninsula, towards the North Sea, as far as the mouth 
of the Ems, the IngammuvM ; in the neighbourhood of the Rhine, 
as fiir as the Maine, and higher up on the left bank of the Rhine, the 
Ltammians; and in the middle of Germany , particularly in the high- 
lands along the Upper Weser, the Werra, Fulda, and towards the 
south, as ikr as Hie Hercynian forest, the Hermionian tribes. He gives 
no general name to the fifth tribe, but includes therein the Peu^ 
ctnanM and Bastamians in the districts of the Lower Danube, as far 

Tacitas also mentions three of these names, but he derives them 
from the mythical origin of the people. Man, the son of Tuisko, 
liad three sons, Ingavon, Istavon, and Hermion, whose descendants 
£>nned the three principal tribes of the Ingavonians, the Istavonians, 
snd the Hermionians. 

We would willingly, as before mentioned^ bring the fourth or fifth- 
fold divifflon of the tribes of Pliny, in conjunction with the subse- 
quent times, and, on this head, we are not altogether without some 
historical indications, — as, viz., when the Vandals, of their own accord, 
letum later and join in the great Gothic union; when the Suevi, the 
flower of the AUemannic afiiance, as the inhabitants of the internal 


and south-western parts of Germany, ihuB bring to mind the Her- 
mionians, the Ingavonians and Istayoniana therefore remaining for 
the north and north-western portions ; so that as, even in the 
earlier times of the Romans, an essential difference, nay, a de- 
cided contrast, in comparison with the inhabitants of the North 
Sea, the Tresians and Chandans, evidently occurs between the inha- 
bitants of the Middle and Lower Rhine, extending itself onwards to- 
wards the mountain distzicts of the Weser and the Harz,and which, 
in the subsequent league of the Franks and Saxons, becomes con- 
firmed, we have thence furnished to us already the third and fourth 
principal tribes of Pliny. 

The fifth he refers to as before-mentioned. Proceeding further on- 
wards we may find again in Bavaria the remnant of the Gothic tribe, 
which, after ike period of the migration of the people, remained sta* 
tionaiy in Grermany , so that between the later four principal nations in 
Germany, the Franks, the Saxons, the Swabians, and Bavarians, a 
connexion is formed and established even to the original tribes of 
PUny. Such links of connexion convey assuredly a great charm; 
but we, nevertheless, wander upon ^und too uncertain to enable ns 
to succeed in acquiring authentic historical data. 

Much more importance attaches, on the contrary, to what the 
ancients, but more distinctly Caesar and Tacitus, relate of the pecu- 
liarities of one German chief tribe, which included many individual 
septs, namely the Sum. From the combination of the picture 
sketdied by &em, in conjunction with other descriptions of German 
manners and institutions, we can define, with tolerable safe^, the 
peculiarities of a second tribe, although the Romans give it no 
general name. We will first pourtray the Suevi^ as Gsssar and Ta- 
citus described them: 

1. The nations forming the Suevic race dwelt in the large semi- 
circle traced by the upper and middle Rhine and the Danube, 
through the middle of Germany, and farther towards the nortli to 
the East Sea, so that they occupied the country of the Necker, the 
Maine, the Saale, and then the right Elbe bank of the Havel, Spree, 
and Oder. Nay, Tacitus even places Suevic tribes beyond the 
Vistula, as well in the interior as on the coasts of the Baltic, and 
bey<»id it in Sweden. Grounds of probability, admit, indeed, of 
our placing a third — ^the Gothic-Vandal tribe, between the Oder and 
the Vistula, and along the latter stream; but as distinct information 
is wanlang, we can but allude to it, of T^uch more below. The 
Suevi, as Caesar informs us, had early formed themselves into one 
large union, whose principles were distinctly warlike. The love of 
arms was assiduously cherished in all, that they might be always 
ready for any undertaking. Thence it was that individuals had no 
fixed landed possessions ; but the princes and leaders yearly divided 
the land among the &milies just as it pleased them; and none were 
allowed even to select the same pastures for two consecutive years, 


batweie foioed to excliange with each others thatneitherof themmight 
iCCQStom himself to the ground, and, acquiring a We for his dwelling- 
^ce, be thus induced to exchange the love of war for agriculture. 
They were a&ddthat, if an individual were permitted to acquire am 
extemive tract, the powerful might chase away the poor, build 
kige and imposing dwellings, and that the lust of wealth might 
me rise to factions and divifiions. Besides which, thej were obliged, 
nom eadi of their hundred districts, to supply the wars with a thou- 
sand men yearly, and those who remainea at home cultLvated the 
land for JL The following year, on the other hand, the latter 
marciifd und^ arms, and the former remained at home, so that 
agridiltuie as well as the aH of war were in constant exercise. 

They considered it a proof of glory when the whole tract 
beyond their frontiers lay waste, as a sign that the neighbouring 
nations were not able to resist their force. They might also have 
considered it perhaps as a greater security against sudden invasion. 

In these, although rude principles of the Suevic union, a great 
idea manifests itself, and proves that the ancient Germans, about 
the period of the birth of Christ, were by no means to be reckoned 
among the savage tribes. Wha#Lycurgus wished to efiect by 
means of his legislation among the Spartans, and for the same 
reason that he allowed his citizens no fixed and exclusive posses- 
sion, seems to have been a principle and combining power of the 
Suevic union, viz: a public spirit, so general and operative, that the 
individual should submit himself to the common good, and for wluch 
and in which he should only live; and not bv sdfishness, fsu^tion, or 
by idleness, dedre to separate himself from the rest, or conrider his 
own weal as more important than that of the collective body. 

2. The Romans mention many individual tribes in the north- 
west of Grermany , between the lower Elbe and the lower Rhine, con- 
aequently about the All^, the Seine, the Harz, the Weser, the loppe, 
the Rulur, and the Ems, as high up as the coasts of the Baltic, (later 
also on the opposite side of the Rhine, in the vicinity of the Meusa 
and Scheldt,) without distinguishing them by a collective name. Sub- 
sequently, in the second century after the birth of Christ, the name of 
SaaBom, occurs in these districts, and in still later times it becomes the 
dammant title in the above-mentioned tracts of land; for in the third 
century, the tribe of Saxons spread forth firom Holstein over Lower 
Gennany, andgave its own name to all those tribes which it conquered 
or united by aSiance. It has been customary to apply the name of 
SizoDS, for even the earlier periods, as the collective appellation of 
all the tribes of lower Grermany, and thereby to express the very op- 
postte diaracter they presented in their whole mode of living to the 
SuevL For as these imwillingly confined themselves to a fixed spot, 
and by their greater exercise and activity, kept themselves con- 
stantly ready for every warlike undertaking, so, on the other hand, 
the naticma of Lower Germany had early accustomed themselves to 
settled dwellings and had made agriculture their principal occupa- 


tion. They dwelt upon scattered farms; eadi farm liad its boim- 
daries around it, and was enclosed by a hedge and bank of earth. 
The owner was lord and priest within his farm, and by voluntaiy 
union with a number of other proprietors was attached to a com- 
munity ; and several communities again were bound to a Gau or dis- 
trict. The name of Saxon^ which is derived &om dtzen^ to sit, and 
has the same signification as to occupy, or hold, appeared effectively 
to characterise the peculiarity of this people; whilst on the other 
hand, the name of Siievi wotud indicate the roaming life led by the 
others. But these derivations are more ingeniously than histoncally 
founded. The name of Saxon is, according to all probability, to be 
derived from the short swords, called Saxens (Sans), of this people; 
but that of the Suevi in its derivation is not as yet thorougnly ex- 
plained. Meantime, however, the contrast between the Suevi and 
the non-Suevi is not to be mistaken. In the latter we find the greatest 
freedom and independence of the individual; in the former we 
perceive the combined power and unity of the tohole, wherein the 
mdividual self is merged; in the latter again, domestic life in its entire 
privacy, and in the £oimer, ptdfUc life in the — although as yet rude — 
accomplishment of an acutely fdhned idea. 

Saxon institutions were not the most favourable for the exercise 
of the strength of a nation against the enemy. But it gives a 
strong and self-dependent mind to the individual man, to &nd him- 
self sole lord and master upon his own propertjr, and knowing that 
it is his own power that must protect wife and child. In villages, 
or even in towns where man dweUs amidst a mass, he depends upon 
the protection of others, and thereby easily becomes indolent or cow- 
ardly. But the isolated inhabitant^ in his, frequently, defiance-bid- 
ding retreat, is nevertheless humane and hospitably minded, and 
offers to his neighbour and his friend, and even to the stranger, an 
ever welcome seat by his hearth. For he feels more intensely the 
pleasure derived from the friendly glances of man, and the refresh- 
ment of social intercourse; whilst, on the contrary, the townsman, 
who meets a multitude at every step, accustoms himself to view the 
hiiman countenance with indifference. When the Saxon, with his 
hunting-spear in his hand, had traversed, through snow and storm, 
the wilderness and forest, the huts of his friends smiled hospitably 
towards him, like the happy islands of a desert sea. 

We shall enumerate subsequently the individual tribes of both 
branches, as well as the others mentioned by the authors of antiquity. 
It appeared necessary to notice thus early the chief distinction 
between the German nations, for many of the descriptions given by 
the ancients of their manners and customs, accord omy with the one 
or the other branch, and their apparent contradictions are to be ex- 

{>lained only by the confused mixture of the information. Ceesar, 
or example, notices chiefly the Suevi; and Tacitus, the Saxon tribes. 
Yet in the detail which we now enter upon, it will be perceived that 
the essential fundamental character of both was the same. 



The Grermans loved the open coimtry above everything. They 
did not build towns, they likened them to prisons. The few places 
which occur in the Roman writers called towns — ^the later Ptolemy 
names the most — ^were probably nothing more than the dwellings of 
the chiefs, somewhat larger, and more artificially built, than those of 
the common freemen, and in the vicinity of which the servitors 
fixed theb huts; the whole might possibly have been surrounded by 
a wall and ditch to secure them from the incursions of the enemy. 

The Saxon tribes did not even willingly build connecting villages, 
so great was their love for unlimited freedom. The huts lay, as is 
already mentioned, in the midst of the indosure that belonged to 
them, and which was surrounded by a hedge. The construction of 
these huts was most inartificial. Logs shaped by the axe were raised 
and joined together, the sides filled with plaited withy, and made 
into a firm wall by the addition of straw and lime. A thatched roof 
covered the whole, which (as is still found in Westphalia) contained 
the catde also; and by way of ornament they decorated the walls 
wiih brilliant colours. 

Tacitus says, they selected their dwelling wherever a grove or 
spring attracted them. Advantage and comfort were consequently 
frequently sacrificed to their love of open and beautiful scenery, and 
it is probable, that they so ardentiy loved their country from its pre- 
senting them with so great a variety of hill and dale, wood and 
plains, and rivers in every part. 

This strong love of nature, which may be 'traced from the very 
first in our forefathers, is a grand feature of the German character. 
As long as we retain it, it will preserve us from sensual ener- 
vation and the corruption of manners, wherein the most cultivated 
nations of antiquity, by excess of civilization and luxury, and com- 
pression into lai^e cities, gradually sunk. 

Next to war the most favourite occupation of the Germans was 
the chace; and tiiat itself was a kind of warlike exercise. For 
the forests concealed, besides the usual deer, also wolves, bears, 
urocks,_bisons, elks, wild boars, and many species of the larger 
birds of prey. The youth was, therefore, practised in the use of 
arms from childhood, and to him tiie greatest festival of his life was 
when his fiither first took him fortii to hunt wild animals. 

'* Agriculture, the herdsman's business and domestic occupa- 
tions," says Tacitus, '' they leave to the women and slaves; for it is 
easier to prevail upon the Germans to attack their enemies than to 
cultivate the earth and await the harvest ; nay, it even appears 
cowardly to them to earn by the sweat of the brow, what tiie san- 

giinary conflict would procure." But this description of our fore- 
theiB, as is so often tne case witii the narratives of the Roman 
authors, rraresents the individual feature as the general charac- 
teiistic. Tne small proprietor, no doubt, like our peasant, neces- 


sarilj applied liis own hand to the cultiyation of his land, while the 
great land-owner reserved time for hunting, for festivities, and for 
all the pleasures of social intercourse. 

And with respect to the description of their dominant warlike 
propensities, which preferred earning the necessaries of life by blood 
lather than by the sweat ofthe brow, this must be understood to zefer 
more particularly to the conquering warUke trains of bold leaders, such 
as an Ariovistus, or to the frontier safeguards of the Grermans against 
the Romans, as, for instance, the MarcomannL For when once 
amongst a nation agriculture and pasturafpe have beccHne prominent 
occupations, and without which life could not be supported, they 
can no longer belong to those employments despised oy the free 
man, and wnioh as such he leaves solely to the care and attention of 
women and slaves. 

It is, however, no doubt true, that among the Germans of 
the more ancient period, warlike desires, and powerful na- 
tural inclinations for bold undertakings, and in particular for 
the display of an untamed strength with its violent concomitants, 
were a ruling passion. But the ennobling features of higher vir- 
tues are seen through these defects. History records no people 
who, in conjunction with the faults of an unrestricted natural power, 
possessed nobler capabilities and qualifications, rule and oraer, a 
sublime patriotism, fidelity, and chastity, in a greater proportion 
than the Germans. '^ TAere," says the noble Roman, who had pre- 
served a mind capable of appreciating the dignity of uncorrupted 
nature; 'Hhere no one smiles at vice, and to seduce or be seduced, 
is not called ySuAtofioife; for among the Germans^ good morals effect 
more than elsewhere good laws." 

This moral worth of the Germans, which beams through all their 
rudeness, has its true source and basis m the saneiiig of marriage^ 
and the consequent concentration of domestic happiness; for it is 
these two features chiefly which most decidedly determine the mora- 
lity of a nation. The young man, at a period when his form had 
taken its perfect growm, in the full energy of youth, like the 
sturdy oaks of his native forests, and preserved by diastily and tem- 
perance firom enervating desires, at tne time that his physical and 
moral nature had attamed their equiUbrium, selected ihen the 
maiden for his wife, little differing in age from himself. The 
exceptions were few, says Tacitus, and that only perchance — as in the 
case of a prince, who might wish to increase his own importance by 
an alliance with another powerful house — ^that a second wife was 

It was not the woman who brought the portion to the man, but 
the latter to the former, and who indicated me value he attached to 
his alliance with her by the quality of the present he made, accord- 
ing to the extent of his means; and even this custom displays the con- 
siikration the German nation had for the gentler sex. The bridal p£t 
comprised, besides a team of oxen, a war-horse, a shield and arms; a 


gjA not useleaB among people "with wHom, particalarlj in long ezcur- 
sioiiSy the -wife, seneraUj, ftccompanied her husband to the field. She 
was ihus leminded not to consioer valour, war, and arms, as whoUy 
strange to her, but these sacred symbols of the opening marriage told 
her to c(Hisider herself as the companion of the la Dours and dangers of 
her husband, in war as well as in peace, and as such to Hve and die. 
She received what she was bound to transfer uncontaminated to her 
children, and what her daughter-in-law was to inherit in turn, in 
order to transmit to ber grand-children. And this gift, as Tacitus 
sa}rs, was, as it were, the mystic holy consecration and guardian 
deity of maniage. 

Such an alliance founded upon love and virtue, and calculated to 
OMitinue for better for worse, in firm union unto death, must indeed be 
holyandinyiolable; and in £u^, the inMngement of the marriage vow 
was, according to the testimony of Tacitus, almost unheard of. The 
deepest and most universal contempt followed a crime so very rare. 

The children of such a maniage were to their parents the dearest 
idedgea of love. From their very birth they were treated as free 
human beings. No trace was to l>e found in Germany of the tyran- 
nical power of the Roman father over his children. The mother 
reared her in&nts at her own breast; they were not left to the care 
of nurses and servants. The Grermans, therefore, highly venerated 
virtuous women; they even superstitiously believed there tnts some- 
thing holy and prophetic in them, and they occasionally followed 
SadTi^ in ii^ortant and dedaiye momente. 

This veneration for the female sex in its buman dignity, com- 
Inned with their strongly impressed love of arms, of war^ and man- 
hood, this noble feature in the German nature, which elevates him 
so high above the— -in other senses, so gifted — ^Greeks and Romans, 
shows most clearly that nature had resolved her German son to be the 
entire man, who, by the imiversal cultivation of the human powers, 
should at some future period produce an age, which as now, in its 
liberal and many-sided or multifarious views, should fiur surpass thkt 
of the Cireeks and Romans. 

The ancient Grerman dress and food were simple, and agreeable to 
nature. Female decoration consisted in their long ydilow hair, in the 
fiesh colour of their pure skin, and in their linen robes, spun and 
woven by their own hands, ornamented with a purple bandas a girdle ; 
the man knew no other ornament than his warlike weapons; the 
shield and his helmet, when he wore one, he adorned as well as be 
could. Among the Suevi ihe hair was worn lied in a bundle on the 
top of the head for the sake of its warlike effect. Among the Saxons 
it was parted, and hung down the shoulders, cut at a moderate length. 

Hieur ample fare consisted chiefly of meat and milk. They pre- 
pared their uvourite drink, beer, from barley and oats. They nutde 
mead also ftom honey and water. Their boney was collected by 
the wild bees in great quantity, and good quality. Upon the Rhine 
they did not despise or neglect the cultivation of the vme introduced 
there bj the Romana 


No nation respected the laws of hospitality more than the Germans 
To refuse a stranger, whoever he might be, admission to the house, 
would have been disgraceful. His table was free and open to all, 
according to his means. If his own provisions were exhausted, he 
who was but recently the host, woula become the guide and con- 
ductor of his guest, and together they would enter, uninvited, the 
first best house. There also they were hospitably received. When 
the stranger took his leave, he received as a parting present whatever 
he desired, and the giver asked as candidly on his dde for what he 
wished. This goodnatured people rejoiced in presents. But they 
neither estimated the gift they made too highly, nor held themselves 
much bound by that which they had received in return. 

At these banquets the Germans not imfrequently took council upon 
their most important affairs, upon the conciliation of enemies, upon al- 
liances, and friendships, upon the election of princes, even upon war 
and peace; for the joyousness of the feast and society opened the 
secrets of the breast. But on the following day they reconsidered 
what had been discussed, so that they might view it coolly and 
dispassionately; they took counsel when they could not deceive, and 
fixed their resolution when fitted for quiet consideration. 

During these banauets they had also a peculiar kind of festival. 
Naked youths dancea between drawn swords and raised spears; not 
for reward and gain; but the compensation for this almost rash feat 
consisted in the pleasure produced in the spectator, and the honour 
reaped by the display of such a dangerous art. 

They gambled with dice, as Tacitus with astonishment informs us, 
in a sooer state, and as a serious occupation, and with so much eager- 
ness for gain, that when they had lost their all, they hazarded their free- 
dom, and even their very persons upon the last cast. The loser freely 
delivered himself up to slavery, altnough even younger and stronger 
than his adversary, and patiently allowed himself to be bound and 
sold as a slave ; thus steadfitstly did they keep their word, even in a 
bad case: *' they call this goodfaxA^^ says the Roman writer. 


The entire people consisted of freemen and slaves. Among the 
latter there seems even to have been an essential difference. The 
one class, which may be compared to the vassals pertaining to the 
land of the lord oi the manor, and among whom the freedmen 
of Tacitus may be also reckoned, received m)m the land proprie- 
tor house and home, and yielded him in return a certain ac- 
knowledgment in com or cattle, or in the woven cloth which 
was made imder every roof. The second class, on the contrary, 
the true slaves, who were bought and sold, and were mostly pri* 
soners of war, were employed in the more menial services of the 
house, and the labours of agriculture. But their lot even was en- 
durable, for their children grew up with those of their master, with 
scarcely any distinction, and thus in the simplicity of their living 
there was formed a relationpf mutual adherence. 6ut the slave was 


held incapable of bearing arms ; these were alone the privilege and pre- 
TO^tiTe of the Free-men, 

They were divided into the nobles, nobiks, as Tacitus calls them, 
and the common Free-men, ingenui. In later periods the German lan- 
guage distinguishes AdeUnge and FrUinge, The former word is pro* 
babty derived from Od, Estate, and therefore denoted the large pro- 
prietor, who reckoned in his estate bondsmen and vassals, and who 
poesessed already in his domains the means of exercising a more ex- 
tensiTC influence. The Friling was, on the contrary, the common 
fiee man, who cultivated his small possessions with nis own hands, 
or by the assistance of but a few slaves. If Tacitus, as is probable, 
indicates this distinction by his term nolnles and ingenui^ we may 
therein trace the ori^ of the German nobility, founded as it is in 
the nature of all social relations. From the importance given by 
possessions and merit, individual as well as ancestral, those privileges 
may be adduced, which are held over the poorer, unnoticed famihes, 
and which' in the course of time, and as it were by the antiquity of 
poflsessian, pass into rights. But the information ^ven by Tacitus 
does not, however, spea& absolutely of n(^A/l9,^mplymg, for instance, 
the offices of director and president in commimities and districts, — 
but merely of the custom of filling them from the superior families. 

A numDer of farms of great and small landowners, specially united 
by dose ties, constituted a community (Gemeinde); several commu- 
nities a league of tiie hundred {Markgenossenschaft)^ which exercised 
within a larger circuit the common right of herd and pasture ; and, 
lastly, a number of these formed the larger confederacy of a district 
(Gau)j formally united for protection against every enemy, and for 
interim security both of life and property. 

As chief of the district, a judge was elected from amon^ the 
oldest and most experienced, who probably may have borne m an- 
cient times the name Graf.* Cents or hundreds were subdivisions 
of the district, probably consisting originaUy of a hundred farms, 
whose chiefs were the centners or Ventgrafen. These gave judgment 
in trifling affiiirs; and in matters of more importance they were the 
assistants of the Gaugrafen. The occupation of^these functionaries was 
not limited to their judicial employments, but they had the guidance 
also of other afiairs in the community; and together, they formed the 
Principes of the district, the foremost and first amongst their equals, 
whence is derived the Carman word Furst (prince). The recompence 
for their trouble did not consist in a regular stipend, but in presents 
received from the chiefs of fiimilies. 

But the National assembly was at the head of all, and counselled and 
decided upon the most important affairs. Every freeman, hi^h as 
well as low, was a member of the national assembly, and took his 
part in the welfare of the whole. 

In earHer times, perhaps, there never existed in many circuits, and 

* The deriyadon of the irord Graf or Gray is iincertam. That from grau^ gray, 
ai wcil aa <ioin afr, old, is not tenable. 


during peaceful relations, a more eztensiTe and fiim confederacy than 
that of the Gau. But danger from without, and the relotiondiip 
of the septs, chiefly produced, without doubt, the establishment of 
Ufdona of whole tribes^ which may possibly have ^rea to their c<d- 
lective body a form -variously iasmoned. A multifiiriousness of so- 
cial r^ulations was welcome to the hereditary loTe of fireedom of the 
Germans. The majority of these tribes appear to have had a Tery 
simple constitution of confederacy in the time of peace, inasmuch as 
all transactions in common were determined and regulated by the 
national commimity. In the individual districts all oontinueid ac- 
cording to the customary mode of administration, and it consequently 
did not require the permanent appointment of a saperi(»r executive 
government. In war, on the contrary, an election was made, of the 
common Herzog^ or duke, according to valour and manly virtue, 
whose office closed with the war. (Duces ex virtute sumunt.— Toe.) 

Among other tribes peace had also its chiefi or directon, selected 
originally by the community from the most meritorious of the people, 
which election, in the course of time, when a natural feeling placed 
the son in tiie situation of the father, became invested wita an al- 
most hereditary right. (Reges ex nobiEtate sumunt.— -Toe.) We 
cannot ascertam whether ^ese chiefs bore everywhere, or merely 
among some tribes, the titie of IRng; the Romans called them RegeSy 
because they foimd this name most apt^cable, and in contradistmc^ 
tion to the transitory ducal dignity, which terminated with the war. 
The king could also naturally be the leader in war, in which case 
the duke was superfluous. But in smaller expeditions, which were 
not to be considered in the Ught of a national war, or when the 
king, by reason of age or natural infirmity, was unable to act, a 
duke may have been appointed as his substitute. 

Among some tribes we see a change of constitution. Among 
the CheruBci, when they fought against the Romans, tii^re appears 
to have been no king ; Arminius was the leader appointed hj the 
people. Later, however, in tiie year 47 after tiie birth of Christ, 
the Gherusci appointed ItaUcus, the son of tiie brotiier of Flavmsy 
who was brought up among tiie Romans, to be tiieir king, in order 
to adjust the internal factions. 

The peculiarity of tiie Saxon people consisted altogetiier in their 
free form of government, a constitution most conformable to tiieir 
orig^in, sprin^g as they did from the union of the heads of free 
families, each of whom ruled his domain according to the ancient 
patriarchal form. A common general was required only during war, 
which, in general, was defensive, and consequently national Among 
the Suevi, on the contrary, whose constitution was one warlike 
throughout, wherein the individual was early accustomed to consider 
himself but a portion of the whole, a monarchical government be- 
came the natural form of the constitution, and we consequentiy find 
among them an Ariovistus, a Marbodius, and a Vannius, as kings of 
a waruke state. 


Hiese differences may assist in exj^laining the various charac- 
teristics and forms of tne public institutions which the Romans 
mention, and which it is not always easy to distinguish, from their 
having oonfounded and mixed the mdividual details. 

In the larger confederations there also occurred ^neral as- 
semblies, although more seldom than in the individual districts, and 
much that the Komans relate refers to these said larger assemblies, 
iriukt on the contrary the leading subjects were common to both 
kijge and small assemblies. 

juiese were generally held at a return of the Ml moon and new 
moon; as they conridered those the most happy moments for any 
transaction. Theycameaimed--4iimsbdngthesvmbolof freedom,and 
they preferred exporing themselves to the possibility of their misuse, 
rather than come without them. The ri^t enjoyed by the youth 
of beaxing them as an ornament when ne haa attained a fitting 
age, and was ao^udged worthy, even in times of peace, was im- 
parled by the national assembly itself; he was there solemnly in- 
vested by one of the princes, his £sither or a relative, with snield 
and spear. This was deemed among them the clothing of man- 
hood, the ornament of youth; previous to this the youth was con- 
aidered only as a member of the domestic hearth, but henceforth he 
was received as the representative of the common fatherland. 

Meats ruled the communities; Grod only was the universally 
ftazed lord, whom it was no breach of freedom to obey; and in his 
name the priests kept the multitude in order. They commanded 
silence; the kings, dukes, counts, who derived experience from years 
— ^the nobles, who learnt from iheir ancestors how the district was 
to be governed — ^the most valiant, who, bj their deeds in war, stood 
in general respect, mpoke in turn simply, briefly, and impressively, and 
not in a commanding tone, but by the force of reason. K the pro- 
position difl{deased them, it was rejected by the multitude with hisses 
and muimiirs; but if approved, they signined theb satisfaction by the 
claahmgof their arms, theirmosthonourablemode of testifyingapplause. 

In important affiurs, the king and princes first couns^ed together, 
prior to tlie matter being brought before the people; a custom 
Gonastent with good government, for the multitude can form con- 
cfaaions only upon a transaction being simply and clearly eimlained. 

Tliese ^w traits of aboriginal German institutions display the 

sense of our fore&thers, who therein sought to establish the 

9, that the foundations of every commumty should be based 

idual good feeling, obedience to the laws, and respect for re- 

Thus an internal durability was given to the whole structure, 

lich no external means could replace, howsoever artificially applied. 

We have yet a word to say upon the larger unions of several tribes. 
In a common danger, they ^rmed themselves into a CtmfederaiUm^ at 
the bead of which stood one of the more powerfiil tribes. Thus it was 
with the Cherusci alliance against the Komans; thus the Suevi, at 
wbose head,in eailiertimes, stood the Semnoni ; and later, the confede* 



rations of the Goths, Franks, and AUemanni. In all that conoemed 
the universal league, the laws were very severe. The slightest breach 
of £uth, and treacheiy as well as cowaraice, were punished by death. 
Their principle was, '* One for all and all for one, for life or 
death r May this through every century be the motto of all Grermans! 


When the nation was threatened by impending danger, or the 
country of the enemy was to be invaded by a hise force, all the 
freemen were summoned to arms by what was called the Heerbann* 
The army thus proceeded under the banner of the national god, 
borne by the priests in advance. The princes and judges of each Gau 
or district were also its leaders in war ; the confederates of one mark or 
himdred, and of one race or sept, fought united; and when the inva- 
sion became a regular migration, or when the invading foe chased all 
from their hearths, the women and children followed them. Thus 
was all combined ^at could excite their valour; each warrior stood 
side by side to his nearest relations, companions, and friends, and in 
the rear of the order of battle were plac^ their wives and children, 
whose appeals could not fail to reach their ear. When wounded, they 
retired to the matrons and females, who fearlessly investigated and 
numbered their wounds. We read, indeed, of the women having 
occasionally restored a faltering battle by their incessant supplications, 
from the ^ead of slavery, and even by forcing, with arms in hand, 
the fuptives back to the contest. 

Besides the general summons of the Heerbann, there was a Cam" 
patuoTuhip in arms^ founded upon a volimtary union, which was called 
the Gefofffe, the reserve phalanx or sacred battalion. Warlike youths 
collected themselves around their most tried and esteemed leader, and 
swore in union with him to live and die. There was much contention 
among this Grefolge who should take the first place next to the leader, for 
this corps had its grades. It was high fame for a leader, not merely 
amon^hisown tribeis, but among all the adjacent ones, when he was dis- 
tinguished by the number and valour of bis Crefolge. He was appealed 
to for assistance ; embassies were sent to him, he was honoured by pre- 
sents, and the mere celebrity of his name would frequently check a 
war. In battle it was considered a disgrace to the chief to be outvied 
in valour, and to the Gefolge not to equal that of their leader ; 
but to return alive from battle, after the death of his chieftain, was 
a stigma that attached for life to the individual, and their fidelitj was 
so great, that scarcely an instance of this occurs. It was considered 
the most sacred duty to protect and defend their brave brother in 
arms, and to attribute their own valorous deeds to his fame. The 
leaders contended for victory, and the Gefolge for the leaders. 

* In the language of the earlier times Heerbann, (Heribannuiy) the penalty, which 
iras inflicted upon those who, at the general summons to the war, neglected their 
duty. This word, however, for its object, is at once so usual and significant, wUlat 
it is so difficult to replace with another, that it maj be here retained in its original 


When the tribe to which they belonged continued in a state of long and 
monotonous peace, the majority of these bold youths, led by their cap- 
tain, voluntarily joined those tribes which were at war. Kepose was 
hateful to them; and, amidst danger, the valiant acquired fame and 
booty. The Gtefolge received fix)m the leader their war-horse, and 
their conquering and deadly spear; a lar^ Gefolge, consequently, 
supported itself most easily by war and booty. It is thus that 
Tacitus describes the military institutions of the Greimans. He 
wrote, however, at a period when long wars and their attendant 
chances may possibly have altered much. Originally, perhaps, the 
alHance between the Gefolge and their chieftain was binding only 
during single excursions, and ceased at their termination. For it is 
not probable that a people so jealous of its liberty would have 
allowed individual princes to have surrounded themselves with such 
a troop, as with a hody-guard. But when the dangers of war con- 
tinued for a longer period, it became desirable, and even necessary, to 
be prepared for every casualty. The Gefolge remained long united, 
and they formed the experienced and>61ite portion of the army for 
attack, defence, or pursuit. In the migratory period, kingdoms were 
founded by these Gefolges, and from the essence of their internal 
dganization, the laws sprung which regulated these new states 
(feudal ^stem). 

The chief arms of the ancient Germans were the shield and the 
spear, called by them Framen (Framea)*, with a narrow and short 
biadey but so sharp and well adapted for use, that they could employ 
the same weapon, according to necessity, both far and near. Long, 
heavy lances are also spoken of in the description of many battles. 
For dose combat, the stone battle-axe, which is still frequently dug 
nOy and the common club, were certainly used. From the scarcity 
of iron, few wore body-armour, and but here and there a helmet; 
even swords were scarce, and the shield was formed of wood, or of 
the plaited twigs of the withy. Nevertheless, it was with these 
simple weapons that they achieved so much that was grand, inas- 
much as natural courage and strength of limb effect more than arti- 
fidal weapons. 

Their horses were neither distinguished by beauty or speed, but 
they were very durable, and the Germans knew so weU to manage 
tfaem-that they frequently overthrew the fully-armed and moimted 
Roman and Gallic cavalry. They held the latter in contempt because 
they used saddles, which appeared to them unmanly and effeminate; 
they themselves sat upon the naked back of the horse. But the chief 
stroigth of their army lay in iheir infantry, and they placed the 
boldest and strongest of their youth, mixed with their cavalry, in the 
van, in order to give an additional solidity to the ranks. The 
cavaky themselves selected their companions from among the in- 
&ntry, and thus, even in the rude pursuit of war, esteem and affec- 
tion exerted their influence. They thus held together in the 

* Erom/ram«i, to throv. 


tumult of the fight, and came to each other's assistance when ibe 
contest was desperate. I£ a hoiseman fell heaTily wounded 'fiom 
his steed, the foot soldiers immediately surrounded and shielded 
him. When sudden and rapid movements either in adyandng or 
retreating were necessary, the quickness of those on foot, by means 
of incessant practice, was so great, that holding by the maiitof the 
horse, they equalled the swiftest in their course. 

Their order of battle was generally wedge-shaped, that they might 
the more speedily break the ranks of the enemy. Before battle 
they sang the war-song relating the deeds of their ancestors and the 
celebrity of their fatherland. Warlike instruments also, horns of brass 
or of the wild bull, and large drums, formed of hides expanded over 
hampers, beat the measure to their joined shields; and as they pro- 
ceeded they became more and more excited. In the march against the 
enemy the song became ruder and wilder, a courageous and stimulating 
cry, which was called Barrit; at first deep sounding, then stronger 
and fulkff, and growing to a roar at the moment of meeting the 
foe. The chieftain felt excited with hope or fear, acooiding to the 
louder or weaker tone of the Barrit, Frequently, to make the sound 
more strikingly fearful, they held their hollow shields before their 
mouths. This terrific war-song, combined with the sight of the 
[igantic figures, and the fearful threatening eyes of the Germans 
lemselves, was so terrible in its efiects upon the Romans and the 
Gauls, that it was long before they oould accustom themselves to it. 
To leave their shield behind them was to the Germans an inex- 
piable disgrace; he who had so debased himself durst not attend le- 
ligious worship nor appear in the national assembly, and many who 
had thus efiected their escape from the field of battle could not en- 
dure so miserable a life, but ended it by a voluntary death. 


The religious worship of the Germans attached itself to, and was as- 
sociated with nature. It was a veneration of her great powers and phe- 
nomena ; but withal it was more simple and sublime than the worship of 
other ancient nations, and bore the impress of its immediate and pro- 
found feeling for nature. Aldiough but rudely so, they yet had the 
prseentiment of an infinite tod eternal divine power in their breasts; 
for they considered it at variance with the dignity of the divinity to 
enclose him within walls, or to conceive and represent him in a human 
shape. They buiU no temples, but they consecrated to holy purposes 
groves and woods, of which nature had formed the pillars, and whose 
cano{>y was the infinite heaven itself; and they named after their 
divinity the mystery which their &ith alone allowed them to con- 
template. Even their abori^al poetical descriptions of their divi- 
nities display the nobler sentiments of the Germans, who did not, like 
the Greeks and Romans, attribute to their deities all the infirmities 
of human nature, but represented in them the portraiture of strength, 
valour, magnanimity, and sublimity* And they still more strongly 
distinguish themselves from all other ancient nations by their fijnn 


and cheerful belief in the immortality of the soul, which entirely 
diasipat e d every fear of death ; and in tne confidence of a future state 
they oommitted suicide, when life itself could be purchased only by 

This sublime natural fedling, and this purity of their religious 
ideas, made them, in afler times, better adapted for the reception of 
Christianity. They were the vessel which Grod had selected for the 
pure preservation of his doctrines. Por Jews, Greeks and Romans 
were already enervated by s^isuahty and vice ; they could neither com-* 
piehend nor retain the new doctrines, just as, according to the scrip* 
toral image, the old drunkard could not retain the new wine. The 
ancient Grermans revered, like the Persians, the sun and fire ; but wor- 
shippedastheirsuperior God, WodanJiGuodan, ih&Goden^ Guten^ Gott). 
They odled him also by a beautiful iiame, the Universal Father. They 
kept, in their sacred groves, white horses for the sun, which were har- 
nesaed to the consecrated chariot and driven by the priest or prince, 
who paid particular attention to their neighing, wnich they consi- 
dered, as md the Persians, prophetic of the future, and indicative of 
the will of their divinity. 

They venerated the mother earth as their most beneficent deity;, 
they called her Nerthus (the nourishing),* and we have the fol- 
lowing relation of her worship: '' In the midst of an island in the 
seat there was a sacred grove, in which was a consecrated chariot, 
covered witli tapestry. Sometimes (as noticed by the priests) the god- 
dess descended nrom the sacred dwelling above, and drove the chariot, 
drawn by consecrated cows, accompanied by the priests in the deep- 
est reverence. The days were then cheerM, and the places which shei 
honoored with her presence, solenm and holy; they then entered 
into no war, seized no arms, and the iron spear reposed in conceal- 
ment; peace and tranquiUitv then reigned in every bosom, imtil the 
priests reconducted the goddess, satiated with her intercourse with 
mortals, back into the temple. The chariot and carpet were immersed, 
and the goddess too, if we may believe it, bathed in a secret lake; 
slaves performed the offices of service, whom the same lake immedi- 
atdy swallowed up. Thence arose a mysterious fear and holy ignorance 
(^what that mignt be which only those beheld who were to die." 

TheGermans jdaoed great faith in prophecies and indications of the 
future, as shown already in theneighmg of the sacred horses of the sun. 
When they were at wax they often selected a prisoner taken firom their 
enemy, and caused him tQ fight with one of their countrymen, each 
aimed with his national weapons; the victory of the one or the other 
ir» re<»ved as prophetic, or as a divine judgment. They conddered 
the raven and the owl as harbingers of evil; the cuckoo armoimced 
length of life. They prophesied of the future also with small staves 
cat from a firuit tree, having peculiar or runic signs carved upon each 
iteff, and these were then strewed upona white raiment, .^dthen, 

* TKdtns, Germ. xL 

t Miich here Sndjcatei fl>e island to \» Bngen; bat there are important grounds for 
wi tm di ct kttL 


on public occasions, the priest, but in private the father of the family, 

5 rayed to the divinity, and, with upraised eyes, took up each in- 
ividual rod thrice, the characters upon which indicated the event. 
The holy prophetesses were highly esteemed, and history names 
some to whom tne credulity of the tribes attached great influence in 
the determination of pubhc affairs. Tacitus names Aurinia (per- 
haps Alruna, conversant with the mystic runic characters); a^in, the 
celebrated Veleda^ who, from a tower on the banks of the Lippe, di- 
rected the movements of the tribes of the Lower Rhine; and, lastly, 
a certain Gauna, in the time of Domitian. In the incursions of the 
Cimbri, and in the army of Ariovistus, notice is taken of prophesy- 
ing females. 

There was no ceremony at their fimerals; only the bodies of the 
most distinguished were burnt with costly wood, and with each, at the 
same time, were offered up his arms or war horse. The tomb which 
covered the ashes and the bones of the deceased was a mound of turf. 
Splendid monuments they despised as oppressive to their dead. La- 
ments and tears they speedily gave over, but grief they indulged in 
much longer. Lamentations mey considered as appropriate to females, 
but to men Remembrance alone was deemed suitable. 


Should we after all that has preceded, inquire concerning the pro- 
gress made by the ancient Germans in the arts of life, we shall find 
upon that subject the information of the Roman writers unfortu- 
nately very scanty. Looking down from the point of their very 
superior culture, they did not consider it woith their trouble to 
attend to the origin of the arts, trades, and knowledge, found 
among those nations which they considered as barbarians. This 
silence has misled to the supposition, that the Germans, about the 
period of the birth of Christ, were to be considered as half savages, 
resembling the North American Hurons. But history may, where 
she finds no express testimony, draw conclusions from uncontested 
facts. Therefore we can, with certainty, infer that about the time, 
and shortly after the birth of Christ, the Germans — who in arms and 
warlike skill could contest with an enemy who had acquired in a war 
of five hundred yearsjwith all the nationsof the earth; the highest grade 
in the art of war and consequent subjugation; these Germans, who 
had already far advanced in tiieir civil institutions; to whom marriage 
and the domestic hearth, and the honour of their nation, and their an- 
cestors, were sacred; who in their relijgious symbols displayed a deep 
feeling for the most profound ideas of the human mind ; and who, 
l^^ly? by a dignified natural capacity, and exquisite moral traits, in 
spite of the undeniable ferocity of imbridled passions, were enabled 
to inspire that noble Roman, m whom dwelt a deep sense of all that 
was great and elevated in human nature — these Germans, we say, could 
not have been the rude barbarians described as resembling Norm Ame- 
rican savages. Their cultivation, as &r as their wild life and dis- 


peised mode of dwelling admitted, advanced to a degree worthy of 

Agiicaltuie and pasturage imited, consequently a regulated and 
settled rural economy, pre-supposes the use of the necessary imple- 
ments, howsoever simple they might be. The German made them 
Umaelf. The iron necessary for that purpose, as well as for his 
weapons, he must have known how to work, and the manipulation 
of hard-melting iron is not easy ; presmning they were only able to use 
that which lay upon the surface without understanding or practising 
the art of mimng. Yet Tacitus names iron-mines among tne Goths, 
in the present Silesia. That the preparation of iron utensils must 
indicate already a higher degree of skill in art, in the earliest ages 
of nations, is shown by the very frequent use of copper in such in- 
struments for which iron is much better adapted. Copper is much 
easier to manufacture. 

In the irruptions and battles of the Germans, namely, among the 
CSmbri and Teutoni, chariots and cars are named, wmch convej^ed 
the women and children, and which were placed around to defend 
the camp. The Germans appear also upon their rivers, and upon 
the coasts of their seas in ships, and contest also with the Romans in 
naval batdes. Tribes which could build structures of this descrip- 
tion, need no longer be considered savage. 

The art of spinning and weaving is also not possible without compli- 
cated machinery, and this formed the daily occupation of the females. 

Although the art of building houses was not carried to any 
extent, yet the towers or biu*gs of the superior classes, some of which 
are mentioned in the records of history^ must have been essentially 
£flferent from the huts of the commimity ; and that walls of stone 
were used in their construction, we may infer from the subterranean 
excavations in which provisions were preserved, and wherein the 
women ^nerally wove their linen, and which must therefore have 
been wailed in. 

Trade and commerce were not foreign to the ancient Germans ; 
they were even acquainted with that pivot of all commerce, a general 
medinm of barter — ^money. Tacitus remarks that they knew well 
how to distinguish the old good coins of the Romans, and took silver 
in preference to gold in their retail transactions. The great multi- 
tude of Soman coins, which by degrees have been dug out of the 
Gennan earth, proves that their commercial intercourse was not 
trifling, although much may have fallen into the hands of the Ger- 
manflasbootyupan the defeat of the Romans. Arminius, before the bat- 
tle of Idistavisus, offered to every Roman deserter daily 200 sesterces. 

llieir music was no doubt limited to their war-song, and the rude 
warlike instruments previously named, and to the neroic song at 
festivals. German antiquity had without doubt its inspired singers, 
equally as the Greeks had their Homerides ; the testimony of Tacitus 
tdls us so, and the inclination of the people for all that was great, 
and worthy of fiune, as it evinces itself in their deeds, would even, 
' that testimony, have convinced us. 


It has been disputed whether the Grermans, about ihe liime of the 
birth of Christ, had a written character. Tacitus ezpresslj says, 
that neither men nor women understood writing (hterarum aecieta 
Tiri pariter ac feminie ignorant. — Germ. 19). And although thia 
pasBage might be interpreted in a more restricted sense, weze tfaeie 
express witnesses to the oontraiy extant; still, for the want of them, 
it IS 8u£B.cientlj condusiye of the ignoranoe of writing among the 
ancient Germans. There are, indeed, letters mentioned of mar- 
bodius and Adgandaster, a prince of the Chatti, to Rome; but these 
were certainly written in I^lin, and only prove, if they were written 
by the princes themselyes, that the upper classes, who had inter- 
course with the Romans, and perhaps liyed a long time in Rome 
itself, learnt there the Roman art of writing. The people generally , 
however, were, without doubt, ignorant of the art. 


The seats of the Saxon tribes are already generally stated in the 
fourth division; the following are the names and situations of the 
individual septs: 

1. The Sigambri^ a considerable tribe in theneighbotirhood of the 
Sieg^ whence they probably derived their name; and &rther in- 
wards towards the mountainous districts of Westphalia, which was 
called, later, the Suderland, or Sauerland. Caesar found them here 
about the year 56, and Drusus in the year 12, before the birth of 
Christ, at which time their domain extended as far as the Idppe. 

. Weakened by the attacks of the Romans, to whom they were moat 
exposed, a portion of them were driven by Tiberius to me left bank 
of the Rhme, as far as its mouths, as well as that of the lasel; 
another portion remained in their ancient dweUing-plaoes, and 
fought with the Cherusci against Germanicus. In the subsequent 
centuries, the name was retained only by that portion whidi 
dwelt at the mouths of the Rhine, and which constituted the SaUo 
Franks, and formed a leading tribe in the ccmfederation of the 

2. The Usipetri and Tenckttri^ almost alwajrs nei^bouis, and 
sharing the same casualties. Driven by the Suevi, about the 
year 56 before the birth of Christ, fix>m their original seat, probably 
m the WeUarcoA (the district between the Maine, the Rhme, and 
the LahnV fiurther towards the north, they were, upon their cross- 
ing the Rime, beat back again by Cssar, and partly destroyed. The 
remainder were received by the Sigambrians; and in the time of 
Drusus, the Uripetrians dwelt north of the Lippe, on the Rhine. 
But the Tenchterians had already, about the year 36 before the 
birth of Christ, when the Ubierians were driven to the left bank of 
the Rhine, occupied their domain upon its right bank, so that both 

* Claud. CUmdiiinnB (about 400 jean after the birth of ChrUt) de ir. Cona. 
Honor. 449;Oregor7of lbun,ii.,Sl; andotben. Qotib, on benag bi^iiaBed, was 
addxeaaed by the Biafaop Bemigiiia: miti» SieumUr, 


the tnbes became again neighbouiB, and dwelt in the duchy of 
Beig and in a portion of Gleves. Finallj, the Tenchterians appear 
to Ittve fbnnea a portion of the Franks.* 

3. The Jirtikierij a powerfal tribe in the country north of the 
Lippe, as fiir as the more central Ems, and from the vicinity of the 
Bhme near the Weser, consequently more propedy in the present 
Miinsier land, and some of the approximate £stncts. According to 
tlie most recent investigations, the country in the south of the Lippe, 
as &r as the mountains of Sauerland, theretbre, the so-called Hellw^, 
is coDffldered a portion of the country of the Brukterians. They 
ireze divided into larger and lesser bodies, took an active part 
as the confederates of the Cherusci, in the war of fieedom agamst 
the Romans, and they received as their booty, after the battle with 
Varus, one of the three conquered eagles. About the year 98 s£bec 
the birth of Christ, in an internal war with their neighbours, they 
were almost annihilated, so that Tacitus divides their domain be- 
twe^i the Chamaviians and the Angrivarians. But this account is 
certainly ezie^erated, as their name occurs in Ptolemy much later 
in the nme cGstrict; and even afterwards they appear as a portion 
of the FranUsh confederation. After the alliance of the Sazons had 
more and more widely extended itself towards Westphalia, the 
ooon^ and tribe of the Brukterians became equally included 
thetein; but whether by force of arms, or by alliance, is not to be 
decided. The Brukterians may possibly have derived their name 
fiom the marshes (brilchen) in tbeir country. 

4. The Jfabm, neighbours of the Brukterians, also present them- 
selves as active eneimes of the Romans, about the time of the birth 
of CShzist In the battle with Varus they seized an eagle, which Ger- 
manicus afierwaids reconquered; and this same leader cc»nmenced 
his campaign against Lower Germany, in the year 14 after the birth 
of Christ, by an incuraon from Vetera Castra (near Xanten) through 
the Gsesian forest, into the land of the Marsi, in which he destroyed 
the oekbrated sanctuary of Tanfam, These events show us the 
Maisi as a Westphalian tribe, dwelling not far from the Rhine. 
Beyond this, we cannot determine with certainty their dwelling 
pboe, and antiquarians consequently entertain different opinions 
with reroect to it. Some place them on the Lippe, others eastward 
of the Ems, towards TecKlenburg and Osnaburg, which latter is 
the most probable. The sanctuary of Tan&na, which has been 
sought for in different places, and am<mg the rest near Munster, 
would, therefore, h»M)eu>rth be considered to lie in the land of 

5. The ThftbanU, likewise neighbours of the Brukterians, are 
placed by WHne in the country betwe^i Paderbom, Hamur and the 
Amsbeaqg forest (the Soester BSrde); by others, and with greater pro- 
babili^, on the opposite side of the country of ihe Bruktenans, north- 

* CfaD^goiy of Tan, ii, a. 


west of the Rhine, and the Yechte, the Twente of the present 

6. Southward of the Tubanti, on the Rhine, dwelt the Chamavi^ 
and bordered farther southward on the Uapetrians, to whom they 
had yielded a portion of the pasturage on the Rhine and the Issei, 
even before the time of Drusus. About the year 98 after the birth 
of Christ, they deprived the Brukterians of a portion of their 
country, and tney appear later as forming a part of the confedera- 
tion of the Franks. In the middle a^es, their domain was called 
the Hamaland. Ptolemy mentions the Chamavi, as well as the 
Cherusci, at the foot of the Harz mountains, but which former were 
probably a very different tribe. 

7. The Ankbari or Amdvarians^ northward from the Bruk- 
terians on the Ems ^thence called Emsgauer or Emsbauer). In the 
year 59 after the birth of Christ, a portion of them were driven 
away by the powerful Chauci; they long sought, in vain, another 
dwelling among the neighbouring tribes, and they at last vanish 
among the Cherusci. A portion, however, must have remained in 
their ancient dwelling place, as they appear later, forming part of the 
Frankish confederation. 

8. The Chasuari and Chattuari were, according to some, two 
tribes, the first of which dwelt upon the Haase, northward of the 
Marsi, and were thence called Hasegauer, but the latter at the mouth of 
the Ruhr, where the Gau or district Hattenm gave testimony of them 
in the middle ages; but, according to others, they were but one 
tribe, which had, their dwelling northward of the Chatti, on the 

9. The Dulmbifd are placed, with probability, in the neighbour- 
hood of the Weser, pernaps precisely in the oistrict of the Lippe, 
where the legions of V arus were destroyed, and where the name still 
exists on the heath of Dolger. In a stricter sense they belonged to 
the confederation of the Cherusci. Ptolemy places them on the 
light bank of the Weser; therefore, they very probably occupied 
both its banks. In this neighbourhood Ptolemy also names Ttc- 
luurgium^ perhaps wrongly copied for TeutSmrgiumj in the vici- 
nity of Detmola, and TVop^ea Drusi, the monument of the vic- 
tory of Drusus on the Weser, perhaps in the neighbourhood of 

The following axe some other places, mentioned by Ptolemy, in 
Westphalia, unfortunately without indicating the domain wherein 
they were, and which are, consequently, veiy variously referred to by 

a. Bogadium — Miinster,accordingtosome, but according to others, 
Bochold, or also Beckum ; according to Ledebur, Beckum on the 
Lippe, upon the great Roman road between Vetera and Aliso. 

b. MecKolanhan — ^Also supposed to be Munster, but now, pro- 
bably, Metelu on the Vechte. 

c. Mumtium — is either Osnabui^, the Castle Ravensbeig, or 
Stromberg in the neighbourhood of Munster. 


d. SUreontium — ^Warendorf, Stromberg, Steinfort or Steveren, 
all in the land of Munster. 

e. Amatia — ^probably the same place as the Amisia of Tacitus, the 
hold on the left bank of the Ems, not ikr from its estuary, which 
was built by Drusus. 

f. Asealxngium^ near Minden on the Weser. 

g. With respect to AKsOy the castle built hj Drusus, in the second 
year before the birth of Christ, at the connuence of the Aliso and 
the Lippe, according to the information of Dio Cassius, opinions are 
so far unanimous that it was situated upon the upper Lippe, not veiy 
&r from the entrance of the Teutoburgian forest. The majority 
again have decided for ElseUy near Paderbom, not &r from the con- 
fluence of the Alme and the Lippe; the most recent, very careful 
investigation of Ledebur, however, has raised it to the highest pro- 
bability that Aliso lay in the present parish or district of lAesbomy 
in the space which is formed between the junction of the Liese and 
the Glamey and that of the Glenne and uie Lippe, near the reli- 
gious foundation of Cappehi. 

h. Arbalo — where Drusus was pressed hard bj the Germans, upon 
the frontiers of the country of the Cherusci, Sigambri, and Chatti, 
was, very probably, between Nuhden and Gresecke, where the Haar 
mountains gradually dwindle into the plains of the HeUweg, and 
where in the Middle A^es a G€tu or district, Arpesfeld, was situated. 
The syllable ending with h in the name, implies 2^ forest; Feldy in 
oontraaistinction to WaM^ indicates old forest land made arable. 

Close to the left bank of the Weser, beyond the Dulsibini, dwelt 
also the remaining smaller tribes of the confederation of the Cherusci ; 
and on the opposite side of this river: 

10. The Cnenuci themselves, the most celebrated Germanic tribe 
of ancient times, when in their most flourishing state. About the 
pedod of the birth of Christ they possessed an extensive domain, 
bat of which it cannot be exactly stated how much was properly 
thdr own hereditary land, and how much of the land belonged to 
their more closely attached confederates, who are often called by the 
Ramans, ofi*-handedly, Cherusci. This domain extended from the 
Haiz, its centre, eastward as fiur as the Saale and the Elbe, north- 
ward nearly as &r as &e Aller, westward as far as the Weser, and 
southward as &r as the Werra and the Thuringian forest. From 
the time of Drusus to the generalship of Varus, m the twenty years 
during which the Romans were almost settled in Lower Germany, 
and weady spoke of a Roman province, the Cherusci were on 
fiiendly terms with them; the sons of their princes entered the 
Roman armies, Augustus had a German body guard, and all seemed 
peaceable. But under Varus the Cherusci pkced themselves at the 
head of almost all the tribes between the Rhine and the Weser; the 
smaller tribes, particularly on the left bank of the Weser, united them- 
selves with them, whom the Romans often called clients of the Cherusci, 
naming them often absolutely Cherusci, whence has arisen the error 


that the Chernsci dwelt on both mdes of the Weser. Later, when 
Arminius went forth against Marbodius, the Lonffobardi and 
Semnoni, their powerfol neishbouis in the East, united themselTea 
with them. Butafierthedeathof Arminius the superioiityof the Che- 
rusci diminished. They became enervated in a protracted state of inao- 
tivity, and were by degrees so weakened by the Longobaidi, Chauci, 
and CSiatd tribes, that the shadow alone of their former greatness re* 
mained. Once amin aolj does their name appear as a ccmstituent 

Sortion of the contederationi^ the Franks. Ptolemy moitions in their 
omain Lvpia or Lupta^ now Eimbedc, CaUagriy Halle oxk the Saale, 
Brieurdium^ Erfurt 

With the Chernsci sank also their confederates, Tic: 

11. The Fod on the Fuse, or Brunswick of the preseait day, 

12. The Anffrivariy on both sides of the Weser, below Minden, 
the neighbours and faithfdl confederates of the Chanci, with whom 
they appear again later as a constituent portion of the Saxon oon« 
federation under the name of JBt^fem. The Saxon distopt <m the 
Weser was called Angaria. 

13. The Chauei dwelt on the Baltic, from the estuary of the 
Ems to the Elbe, surrounding the Weser, by which th^ were di- 
vided into the greater and the leaser classes.* Pliny, who had per- 
sonally visited Qieir country, sketches a melancholy picture of the in- 
habitants on the coast: '^ The ocean, twice a day,'* he says,** overflows 
an extensive district, and produces aeonstant contest in nature, so that 
we must continue doubtM whether to call this part land or sea. 
The miserable natives dwell upon the hills of the coast, or ratiber 
heaps of earth, thrown up by the hand upon the margin of the 
highest side. They dwell there at flood tide like marinas, and at 
its ebb like shipwrecked beings. The fish driven hither by the sea 
they catch with nets of reeds and sea-grass. ^^ have no cattle, and 
do not, like their neighbours, feed upon milk. They are not allowed 
even to hunt for game, for not a shrub grows near tnem. The turf, 
secured by hand, they dry more in the air than in the sun, where- 
with to cook their food, and thereby to warm their bowels fix>zen by 
the north wind. They have no other drink than rain water, pre- 
served in holes; and vet had these tribes been conquered by the 
Romans, they would nave called themselves slaves !" Tacitus, on 
the contrary, who had more in view the extensive tribe of the Chauei 
in the interior of the country, celebrates them as the most consider- 
able tribe of the Germans, peaceably minded and yet warlike and 
valiant. They were long the faithM allies of the Romans, who fre- 
quently traversed their country, against the tribes on the more central 
Weser, j^robably emanating m an original feud with the Cherusci. 
Indeed, m the rdgnof Nero they pre&sed hard upon die Wehrmanni 

* Thidr name appears to haTelwen deriTed firom the natoze of their oovntrj; 
kauken, quaken^ meaoB, in the Tnlgar langnage, to quake; and the marshy ground 
of the country quakes under the feet QuaJkenbruck still retains the original de- 


of ibe CSieruaciaii alliance — the Ansibarians, and spread themselves 
BO far towards the south, that Tacitus makes them even extend as 
£ur as the Ch&tti. In the third century they devastated Gaul in the 
reign of the Emperor Didius Julianus, and at last thej disappear 
under the confederate name of Saxons. 

Ptolemy mentions some .of the towns of the Chauci: Tuderivmy 
probably Afeppene; TkuVphardum^ Verdai; Fhabiranumy Bremen 
or Bremenybrder; LeuplumBL, Liinebmrg, and otheis. 

14. The JFritty on the Baltic, from the mouths of the Rhine, 
to the Ems, allies of the Romans in the German wars. In the 
fbordi and fiflh centuries they again appear in the Saxon alii- 
anoe^ and even embark with these for Britam.* The Romans call the 
ifliand Bcxknm, Bwrchana^ and Ameland, Austeraxfia^ on their 
coast, and in their country: Fleum or Flevumj on the DoQart 

15. The SaxonSj afterwards so important, are first mentioned by 
Plolemy in the middle of the second century as inhabitants of the 
present Holstein. They were skilful sailors, and in the fourth and 
mh centuries became dreaded from their piracies. Tadtiis and 
I%ny do not name them, probably because they comprise them 
under the name of Cimbri. We shall speak further on of the con« 
federation they founded and called by their name. 

16. The Cimbri remained for many centuries after their ffreat 
irruption, with which our history b^ins, still in their old dwemng- 
pkoe, called the Cimbiian peninsula, styled the present Jutland; 
Strabo expressly says, '^ they stiU dwelt in their old 8eat."t 

Between the Se^n and Suevic septs is found one of the most 
lemarkaUe of the Greiman tribes, which appears to belong to neither 
ade; vtr.. 

The CAatti or Katti^ in high probability the Hessians of the 
present day (Chatten, Chiissen, Hessen). They ftequently came in 
ocmtact with the Romans, upon whom they bordered, and are often 
named by them. Gsesar himself even knew them, for the Suevi, 
agunst whom he defended the Uberians, and whom he threatened 
by his passage across the Rhine, must, according to the locality of 
the dwelfing-place, have been the Chatti. They even then, probably 
bdonged to tne great Suevic confederation. Tacitus, on the con- 
trary, expressly separates them from the Suevi, aud we may, therefore, 
most ri^tly consider them as a self-dependent tribe, forming a 
separation lietween the two great tribes, the Suevi and Saxons. At 
the time of these great wars under Augustus, their country was 
often visited by the Romans; but in the age of Tacitus, after the 
entire reduction of the Cherusci, their domain seems to have 
acquired its greatest extent, for they spread themselves jGrom the 
neighbourhood of Hanau, and where they bordered upon the Roman 
tithe-land beyond the Spessart and the mountains of tne Rhine as far 

* Frocop. Gtoih. iv. 20. f Oeogr^ TiL,S, i 


as the Thuiingian forest, and towards the south-west as far as the 
Franoonian Saale, then towards the north, somewhat beyond the 
coantry where the Werra and Fulda' join, and north-west as fiur as 
the heights of the Wester forest. 

Tacitus celebrates the Chatti especially for their valour and pru* 
dent management of war. Their infantry was the best of all the 
Germans. They were more accustomed than all the rest to disci* 

5 line and order, and knew how to form defensive camps; besides^ 
ley were large-formed, powerful, and fearless, and their warlike 
glance was intmiidating. ^^ They can all fight," says Tacitus, *^ but 
tne Chatti alone know now to conduct a war; and what is very rare 
in savage nations, they depend more upon their leader than upon 
the army. Good fortune they reckon amongst the casualy valour 
amonnst the certain things^ Their youths fulowed their hair and 
beard to ^ow long, and the^ wore an iron ring upon their arm, the 
sign of mmority, until a slain enemy proved tneir manliness; over 
whose body, and captured arms, they freed their face from the 
abundance of hair, and only then first boasted of having paid the 
reward for their tenure of life, and of being worthy of their father- 
land and ancestors. 

At a later period the Chatti joined the extensive confederation of 
the Franks. 

The ancient metropolis of the Chatti was Mattium^ which many 
consider to be Marburg; but it is probably the present village 
Maden, near Gudensberg, on the river Eder. 

The Mattiaci, a branch of the Chatti, which, in the expeditions 
of Drusus and Germanicus, appear only xmder this latter name, but 
by Tacitus are called by their individual name, dwelt between the 
Lahn and the Maine, as far as the Rhine, therefore in the present 
Nassau. The Romans located themselves very early in their country, 
constructed defences upon the Taurus mountains, and treated the ' 
Mattiaci as a conquered tribe. In the revolt of Civilis they took 
a part, and invested Mentz. Subsequently, their name disappears, 
and the AUemanni occupy their land. . Pliny mentions warm springs 
here, which he calls Fontes Matiacij doubtless Wiesbaden, where 
many remains of Roman buildings, baths, &c., have been found; and 
Arctaunumi the Roman fort upon the heights near Homburg, of 
which traces are yet extant. Ptolemy names also Mattiacuniy pro- 
bably the present Marburg. 


1. The Semnani are called by Tacitus the most ancient and con* 
siderable among the Suevi ; and Ptolemy fixes their seat between the 
Elbe and the Oder, in the southern part of Brandenburg, and in 
the Lausitz as far as the Bohemian frontiers. It is said that in 
their country the sanctuary of the confederation was a holy grove, 
wherein the confederate sacrifices were solemnized. They, conse- 
quently, appear to have stood, in more ancient times, in peculiar re- 


^rd among all the Suevic tribes. After the second century of the 
Christian era, however, their name does not again occur in the an- 
nals of history; of the causes for this disappearance, we are ignorant. 

2. The Longobardi^ few in number, but the most warlike of all 
the Suevi. They dwelt, when history first becomes acquainted with 
them, about the period of the birth of Christ, westward fiom the middle 
Elbe, opposite the Semnoni in the Alt-Mark and Liineburg districts, 
where the name of the dty, Bardewik, the villages of Baiieben and 
Bartensleben, and the Bardengau, still preserve their recollection. 
They thence spread to the eastern banks of the Elbe, as far as the 
Havel. Under Arminius, they fought against Marbodius, but subse- 
quently they assisted towards the reduction of the Cherusci, who appear 
to have been, for a period, in a certain degree of dependancy on them. 
Ptolemy gives them, in the second century, a very extensive do- 
main, uom the Elbe over the country of the Cherusci, the Tubanti, 
and Marsi, as fiir as the Rhine. They may possibly, if Ptolemy's 
relation be true, have made successful, but short invasTve erpeditions. 
History then becomes silent concerning them, until toward the end 
of the fifth century, when they appear upon the Danube, in Hun- 
gary; and in the sixth, they establish their kingdom in Italy. They 
derived their name, according to their ancient legend (as handed down 
of kin^ Rothari), from their long beards, but according to others, 
from their HeUebarden or Halberts; more probably, however, from 
their dweUing-place, on the borders of the Elbe, where a tract of 
land is still called the long Borde, or fruitful plain. Ptolemy names 
Mesuium among them, perhaps the present Magdeburg. 

3. Northwards from the Longobardi and Semnoni, m the present 
Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, and Pommerania, dwelt, according to 
Tacitus, tne Suevic tribes of the Varird, Angeli^ Reudingi^ Avioni^ 
Eudosi^ Suardanij and Ntdthoni; but little known or remarkable. We 
have already referred to their common worship of the goddess Nerthus. 

The name of the Varini reminds us of the river Vame, in Meek- 
lenbui^; and, indeed, Ptolemy mentions, in their domain, a series of 
towns, which, according to his geographical determination, are com- 
prised in the district on the north of the Elbe, from Hamburg as 
£u- as the estuary of the Vame. Hamburg itself appears under the 
name of Mariams ; Ltibeck under that of Mariotds Altera, Lad-' 
burghtm may be Wismar, and Alistus, Schwerin. 

The AngeK, neighbours of the Varini, appear later in union with 
the Saxons, with whom they seem to have joined themselves, in the 
vicinity of Silesia and upon the neighbouring islands ; then in England, 
which has preserved their name nobly down to the present day. 

On the coasts o£ the Baltic, extending farther towards the east, 
Tacitus names a series of tribes, which he refers to the Suevic 
nee. Perhaps we may recognize in them a third, namely, the 
Gothic, and we therefore quit, for the present, that direction, to 
torn ourselves towards the undisputed Suevic tribes in the interior 
of Germany. Here first we meet : 



4. The Hermunduri. The inforaiation of the dwelllng-plaoeB of 
this tribe, which, besides, is named by ahnost all the writers who 
mention the Germans, from Veil. !raterculus to Dio Cassius 
(with the exception of Ptolemy), is very contradictory, but which ma;^, 
perhaps, be owinff to their fiequent change of locality. Tacitus is 
acquamted with uiem as the fnends and neighbours of the Romans 
on the northern shore of the Danube, whence they stood with the 
Romans in a peaceful commercial intercourse, namely, in the capital 
of Rhoetia, Augusta VindeUcarum^ Augsburg, and he makes them 
contend with theChatti, on the Francoman Saale, for the possession of 
the salt springs, so that their domain, consequently, stretched between 
the Danube and the Maine, across the present Franconia. They had 
arrived here about the time of the Christian era, when the Marco- 
manni, under Marbodius, were moving towards Bohemia. They 
were received by the Roman general, Domitius .£nobarbus. Thence 
arose their fnenaship with the Romans. They probably dwelt, pre- 
viously, farther north-eastward, in the Franconian and Bohemian 
mountains, as far as the Elbe. The Hcrmxmduri, from the middle 
of the second century, appear only under the collective name of 
SuGvi; and it is they, probably, who, carrying it farther to the 
south-west, have preserved and brought it down to the present day 
under the name of Swabians. 

Ptolemy mentions, in the present land of Franconia, Segodunum^ 
perha^ Wiirzburg; Berffium, Bamberg; Menasgada, Baireuth, &c. 

5. The Nariski, in the Upper Palatinate, between the Hermun- 
duri and the Marcomanni. 

6. The Marcomanni^ the most important of the southern Suevic 
tribes, or perhaps, more properly, the advanced Wehrmannei of the 
Suevic confederation against the Grauls, and later, against the Ro- 
mans — thence called mark or frontier-men— guarded tne boundaries 
of (Germany between the Rhine, the Maine, and the Danube. Upon 
the increasmg weakness of the Gauls, they endeavoured to make 
conquests in the country of their enemies. Ariovistus was, accord- 
ing to all probability, a Marcoman. History will inform us how 
about the commencement of the Christian era, they, under Mar- 
bodius, advanced, in front of the Romans, towards Bohemia; and 
how, subsequently, they became the terrific enemies of the latter. 
Their name disappears in the migration, probably merging in that 
of the Suevi, under which collective name they may have wandered, 
with other Suevic tribes, to Spain. 

7. The Quadiy the most south-eastern Suevic tribe, seated upon 
the Danube, in Austria and Moravia, as far as the river Qrau, in 
Hungary, where they joined the Sarmatian tribe of the Jazysi. 
They lived in peace with the Romans until the great Marcbmannic 
war, under Mark Aurelius, in which they took a share. From this 
time they always remained the enemies of the Romans. In the fifUi 
century, their name likewise disappears, and merges in that of the 
Suevi, among whom they are agam mentioned in Spain. Ptolemy 



names many towns in iher country, as a ^eat commercial road led 
from Clarwiadumy Pressburg, thion^h the land of the Quadi, and by 
this means conveyed life ana spirit mto it. We name only Phurgi- 
satUy Coridorffisj ani^JPhUecia, probably Znaim, Brtinn, ana Ohniitz. 

8. Behind these, towards the east, andent writers mention the 
names of many other tribes, without, however, giving more particidar 
information aoout them, or even being able to state precisely that 
they were of Qerman oii^. Thus it is with the Gothini and Osi, 
in the mountains which border upon Moravia and Bohemia, running 
towards Upper Silesia, of whom Tacitus himself says, that the for- 
mer spoke tne Gallic, and the latter the Pannonian, accordingly, the 
Saimatian tongue. 

Hie Martmffiy are mentioned by Tacitus alone ; according to whom, 
their dwelling place seems to have occupied a portion of Lower Silesia, 
eastwards from the Riesengebirge. It is, however, doubtful whe- 
liier the Maningi of Tacitus were not a branch of tlie Vandals. In 
the district of the abovementioned tribes, belong many of the names of 
towns which occur in Ptolemy; viz., Stremtiia^ in the vicinity of 
Neiase; CoMurgis^ in that of Gmtz. 

9. TbeLy^j a powerftd union of tribes in the eastern portion of 
Sikaia, and m that part of Poland which is inclosed by the elbow 
of the Vistula, from its source as &x as Brombei^. Tacitus con- 
aiders them, perhaps rightly, as Suevi, although their manners 
and mode of life partake mudb of that of their savage Sarmatian 
nd^hbours, on which account several modem historians class them 
witn the Sclavonic tribes. They belonged, when we first hear of 
them, to Marbodius' confederation of tribes, and thdr alliance with 
llie Maicomanni and Hermunduri, seems to have continued even 
much later. In the third century, they appear with the Burgundians 
on the Rhine, and are defeated bv the Emperor Probus.* The chief 
stem, however, which remained behind, probably attached itself 
Bt the time of the great migration, to the Groths, the name being no 
longer mentioned. 

Among the Lygian tribes, Taditus names the Ari, the Helve- 
corn, Manimi, Elysi, and Naharvali; his Burt also, which he does 
not join to the Lygian union, belonged probably to it; they dwelt 
at the sources of the Oder and the Vistula. Tacitus descrioes the 
Axi as the most powerful, but also the most savage of the Lygians. 
They painted their shields black, coloured their bodies, selected dark 
nights for their battles, and excited terror in their enemies by the fear- 
fiu and almost infernal appearance of their ghastly, death -hke ranks. 

In the country of the NaharvaU^ there was a sacred grove, where- 
in a youthful pair of twins, similar to Castor and Pollux, were wor- 
shipped under the name of Alcis, and were attended by a priest in 
fiemaie laimenLf 

The whole domain of the Elydy who dwelt probably in Silesia, 

• Voaliiiwi,67. 

t TmHiis calls it the Sanctuaiy or deity AlcU, probably tbe Gothic AJha. 

D 2 


and perhaps gave its name to the principality of Oels, was certainly 
traversed by a Roman commercial road, wliicli is proved by the 
many Roman coins that have been, and still continue to be K>und 
buried there in the earth. 

In the great Lyffian domain, Ptolemy mentions many names of 
towns ; among others, Budorgis^ probably Ratibor ; Lygidunumy 
Liegnitz; CaUsia^ Kahsch, &c. 

10. The Goths. Tacitus, who only knew the Suevi and non* 
Suevi among the German tribes, considers this tribe also, which he 
calls Goths, as Suevi. Pliny, on the contrary, who makes a fivefold 
division of the tribes, regards them as belonging to the stem of 
the Windili, namely, to t£at of the Vandab. lliat the tribes of this 
stem dwelt, collectively, in the extreme east of ancient Germany, these 
two, as well as the rest of the ancient authors who mention their names, 
are in opinion unanimous. Later history finds many of these tribes 
likewise in combination, or, at least, acting under the same impulses 
and towards the same piuT>ose ; and it was by them that the first grand 
blow was struck against the Roman colossus. If, therefore, nothing 
decided can be said upon these obscure relations, to the elucidation of 
which the light of history is wholly wanting, it will not be objection- 
able, but rather contribute to the easier survey of this manifold mix- 
ture, if we here collect these tribes together, as belonging^, probably, 
to a third chief stem, allied to the Suevi, which, with Phny, we may 
call the VanddUan^ or, according to the title of the later principal 
tribe, the Gothic branch. 

a. The true Goths, or Gothones, were known to Pytheas, about 
the year 300 before the birth of Christ, on the Am1>er-coast, near 
the estuary of the Vistula. Tacitus places them beyond the Lygi, 
therefore still on the Vistula, but no longer extending to the sea; 
for on the coast he names the Rugi and the Lemovu Ptolemy, 
nearly fifty years later, places them likewise on the Vistula, in toe 
intenor of the cotmtry, and mentions, by name, the Venedi, or 
Wendi upon the coast. We may thence conclude that, even at this 
period, the great movement of the Wendian and Sclavonian nations, 
from the north-east towards the south-west, had already commenced, 
whereby the Germans were impelled forward in the same direction. 
At the beginning of the third century, we already find the Grotha 
again farther southward, namely, in Dacia, where they fixed them- 
selves. At this time, also, they appear divided into two great 
branches, the Ostro-Goths and W estro-Gx)ths, or East and West- 
Goths. Their progress and fate, at the time of the great migration, 
will be further related in the history itself. 

As single tribes, the Gepidi, Mosogothi, Therwingi and Greuthungi 
are named as branches of the Gothic stem, upon whose affinity and 
position towards each other a variety of opinions are still maintained. 

b. The Burgundians are placed by Pliny at the head of the Van- 
dal stem, but they are not named by Tacitus. Ptolemy points out 
as their dwelling-place the country between the Oder and Vistula, 


where the Netze and the Warthe flow. Driven by the Gepidi from 
this district, a portion of them turned towards the north and located 
themselves iipon the island Bomhohn (Burganda-holm) between 
Sweden and l)enmark ; but the greater portion drew oflF to the south- 
west, attacked Gaul, were beaten back by the Emperor Probus, dwelt 
for a space of time in the vicinity of the Maine, then upon the upper 
Rhine, and received from the Koman governor, Aetius, at the be- 
mming of tiie fifth centuiTy a dwelling-place in the south-east of 
Gaul, where their name still continues. In tiieir ancient domain 
Ptolemy names the city Ascaucalis, where Bromberff now exists. 

c. The Buffi are placed by Tacitus on the Baltic; ne attaches close 
to them the Lemovi, who are mentioned by no one else, and who 
do not even again appear in the great migration. The name of the 
Ru^ survives in the island of Riigen and some neighbouring places 
Taatus does not enumerate them among the tribes who took part in 
the Nerthus worship on the isle of Riigen; but it was, perhaps, after 
the age of Tacitus that they spread themselves so wide towards the 
west, and gave its name to the island Rii^^en, with which he was im- 
aoquainted. At the time of the great migration they appear in the 
army of Attila, when he advanced against the Gauls; after his death 
they settled themselves upon the northern banks of the Danube in 
Austria and Hungary, which country was called Ru^and; and, 
shortly afterwards, Odoacer, kins of the Heruli, Rugi, Sciri, and 
Turciungi (he being sometimes called by one and sometimes by the 
other of these tities, although by birth a Scirian), came forth ana des- 
troyed, in the year 476,the west Roman empire. The said four named 
tribes were, according to all probability, closely allied, originating from 
the vicinity of the Baltic, between the Vistula and the Oder ; and who, 
after seveial separations and a variety of adventures, of which isolated 
notices occur in history, are again found united under Odoacer. The 
Hendians are, next to the Rugi, the most remarkable. They ap- 

Sar as a portion of the great kingdom of the Ostro-Gothic ting, 
emanrich, and form, after Attila's death, a powerful empire on the 
banks of the Danube, at last vanishing on difierent sides, after en- 
ootintering the most adventurous fortunes.* A portion seems to have 
united itself into a nation with the Bojoarians or Bavarians. 

d. The Vandals appear as an individual tribe in Dio Cassius only, 
who calls the Riesengebirge the Vandalian mountains, whence the 
Elbe has its source, and we indeed find upon its north-east side the 
original dwellin^-place of the Vandalian tribes. We have already 
noboed that the livendili race of Pliny is tiie Vandalian, and that 
Tacitos speaks really of the VandaUan as received by some otiiers; 
later writers expressly say, that the Vandals were of the same stem as 
the Goths, had a similar appearance, the same laws and institutions. 
We shall Airther relate their history at the period of tiie migration. 

Tacitus does not allow his country of the Suevi to end with the 
of the Baltic only, as &r as the estuary of the Vistula, but 

* Frocop. de belL Goth. iL, 11 and 12. 


conveys hia readers to ihe Metnf on the Amber coasts. Thej^ 
aoooraing to their manners and dress, were Suevi, but approached 
nearer to the Britons by their language. They zealously cultivated 
grain, and collected amber, which they called hesum (glass), and 
received with astonishment the high price Roman luxury offered 
for it. Tacitus describes amber very distinctly and rightly. 

12. Also, on the other side of the Baltic, in the present Sweden, 
according to him, are found Suevi, viz.: the Suioni. '^Equally 
strong,'* says Tacitus, '* by their fleets as by their men and arms, 
kings rule over them witn unlimited power. Beyond the Suioni 
there is another sea, calm and almost motionless. It is believed 
that this sea limits the earth, from the circumstance that the last 
dying splendour of the setting sun continues until its rise, and so 
brightly, that it obscures the stars." Thus it is evident that they 
had intelligence of the Polar circle. Tacitus also seems to hint at 
the great northern lights^ by citing the tradition that particular ravs 
are seen in the skies, and tones heard at the same tune. To tne 
Suioni are attached the races of the Sitam, over whom a woman 
reigns. " Thus far," says Tacitus, '* they are not only degenerated 
from freedom, but fallen iato slavery. Here is the end of the Suevi." 

That the Swedes are of German origin, may be considered as de- 
cided, and that they were closely related to the Goths is extremely 
probable. The name of the island Gotland, and many other names 
m Sweden, corroborate this. The Gothic historian, Jordanis, de- 
scribes the Goths as having migrated and shipped themselves direct 
from Scandia (Scandinavia, the general name given by the ancients 
to the northern countries), and settled on the banks of the Vistula. 
But what he states assumes more the form of heroic tradition than 
a history of his people; and it may be received as equally correct, 
that the Goths passea over to Sweden from our coasts. 


In the west, the Rhine was not properly the- boimdary of the 
German tribes, but many of them had passed over it already, before 
the period of the birth of Christ, and had located themselves on its 
left bank. To these belonged : 

1. The Vanffioni^ the Nemeti^ and the Trtboci^ in the district on 
the left bank of the Rhine from Bingen, below Mentz, as &r as 
Breisach. In their domain are many towns, which either owe their 
origin or enlargement to the Romans; viz., Monguniiacum^ Mentz, 
an ancient Galac city in the country of the Vangioni; under the 
Romans an important citadel Already, in the year 70 af)«r the 
birth of Christ, the 22d legion, which, on returning firom the con- 
quest of Jerusalem, was quartered in this place, brought with ihem 
Erobably, and introduced Christianity there. Baneonica, Oppen- 
eim; B(n1^omaffU8pWoTme;Navwmaffm^6l[de£9^^ 
Spires; Tabemaj Rheinzabem; Argeivtoratum^ Strasburg, in the 
country of the Triboci, containing the chief arsenal throughout Gkul. 


2. The Ubi dwelt earlieor on the right bank of the Rhine, but 
were 80 hard pressed by the Suevi, that they applied to Julius 
Cbeaar for help, and after he had procured them peace for a short 
time, they allowed themselyes, in the year 36 before the birth of 
Chiist, to be transplanted to the left bank by the Roman general Fu- 
panius Aarippa. They were always the £uthful allies of the Ro- 
mans. Ijieir country commenced at the confluence of the Nahe 
with the Rhine, and here was founded Bingiune^ Bingen, the first 
seat of their domain; further, Bontobrke^ Boppart; Canfluenies^ 
Coblentz; Antunnacumy Andemach; Bonna, Bonn; on the opposite 
ade, as a bridge head or sconce, built by Drusus, was estabnshed 
Gesontia, the present village Geusen; Colama Agrippina^ Cologne, a 
chief city of the Romans on the Rhine, named after the daughter 
of Gennanicus, and consort of the emperor Claudius, Agrippina, who 
was bom in this city of the Ubi, ana in the year 50, after the birth 
of Christ, sent hither a colony of veterans in order to distinguish 
her birth-place. Constantino also caused a bridge to be built here 
over the nver, the remains of which are still to be seen at low water; 
on the right side was Dimtia^ the present Deutz, the bridge head. 
Navesium^ Neuss; Geldubaj (often named by the Romans), the 
present village Gelb, near the Utile town of Uerdingen. 

3. The Gugemiy northwards from the Ubi, commencing not far 
from Geldtiba, down the Rhine to where the Waal divides itself &om 
it. Places: Asciburgiumy Asburg, near Meurs; Vetera (casira)^ 
Xanten or Buderich, opposite Wesel. 

4. The Batavi and Canrdnefatiy both of the Chattic race were, 
aooordinff to Tacitus, driven uom their coimtry b;^ a revolt, and 
settled themselves near the mouth of the Rhine, in that part of 
the land surroimded by water, which was called the island of the 
Batavians. They were allies of the Romans xmtil they revolted 
under Gvilis in the year 70, aft;er the birth of Christ. In their 
domain lay Lvgdunumy Leyden; Ultngectum, Utrecht; Navuh 
wuiguM^ Nimwegen. 

Besides these tribes there were several others in the Trans-Rhenish 
countries who had formerly wandered thither, and were still proud of 
th^ German origin, as if the celebrity of their race separated them 
fiN>m a connexion with, and a resemblance to the weak and cowardly 
Gauls. The chief among them were the Treviriy with the capital 
Awigusta Trevirorumy the present Treves, the most important city 
of the Roman empire in our northern countries; and the Nervi^ 
between the Mouse and the Scheldt 

The south of the Danube was no longer inhabited by the pure Ger- 
man tribes, but such as had become mixed with Gallic and other 
emigrants. The Danube may be considered as the boundarv of Ger- 
many at that period, and the Roman provinces on its southern side 
from Switzerland to beyond Carinthia, and Camiola, were called: 
Hdvetaa, B^tia, Yindelicia, Noricum and Pannonia. 



But more important for the ancient geography of our countrjr 13 
the consideration of the southern part of Germany, from the Rhine 
downwards beyond the Maine, according to others still further north- 
wards, and which was called the Roman Htheland, {agri decumates). 
From these districts the Germans, pressed hard by the superiority of 
the Romans, who threatened them from the Rhine and the Danube, 
had retired more and more into the interior — amongst the rest the 
Marcomanni especially — and the Romans considering the land novr 
as a portion of their own provinces, allowed Gallic and other colonists 
to cultivate it, upon the payment of a tithe. Thence the country 
which was now considered as a frontier or foreland against the barba- 
rians, received its Roman name ; and as such it was already known to 
Tacitus. To secure it from the predatory irruptions of the Germans, 
a long line of fortresses, walls, ditches, walls with towers, and other 
defences, were by degrees constructed, the traces whereof by un- 
wearied research have been discovered in the whole of the south 
and middle of Germany, so that we are enabled to follow these 
Roman frontier-defences almost uninterruptedly. 

Their commencement is found in considerable remains of defen- 
sive works, three miles beyond Ratisbon, near the influx of the 
Altmiihl into the Danube. The intrenchment, well known to the 
natives under the name of the Devil's Wall and the moat of piles, 
runs from here, for twelve miles uninterruptedly, towards the north- 
west, sometimes raised three or four feet above the ground, then 
again south-west and west into Wurtemberg, in the vicinity of the 
Neckar, and^at the distance of some miles from this river constantly 
northward, as far as the Oden forest. This wall was built of a stone 
found in the earth near the spot, knd at every half league was almost 
regularly provided with towers. If here and there perhaps the traces 
of the fine have become indistinct, we soon again meet with them 
more perfect In the Oden forest we only discover the ruins of solitary 
towers more distinctly marked; and it is highly probable that here, 
where there was such an abundance of wood, they were connected by a 
fence of piles, or a row of pallisades, all traces of which have 
naturally disappeared. But if we follow the remains of these isolated 
fortifications, we find at last that near Obemburg and eastward from 
Aschaffenburg, the line joins on the Maine, after it has completed 
from the Danube onwards a distance of nearly two himdred miles. 

Northward from the Maine, the traces of the line are very slight, 
yet it traverses Hanau and Darmstadt, to the north of ihe Nidda, 
where the moat of piles begins to be again visible, and runs past Butz- 
bach towards Homburg. Here lies the Salburg, probably the fort or 
citadel of Arctaunum, erected by Drusus on the Taunus mountains. 
In this part the frontier wall is twenty feet high, and closed in by 
trees as old as the forest itself. It runs over the whole of the 
Taunus mountains, then through the latter on the right bank of the 


Bhine, as far as the Ems, and thence again over mountain and through 
forest to the neighbourhood of Neuwied. Its traces are lost be- 
hind the Seven mountains. This Roman boundary Une extended no 
donbty as far as the Sieg, near Siegburg, perhaps also still farther 
northwards. Tiberius, at least, according to Tacitus, built a border 
mll'Umes^ also in the Caesarean forest; but no trace of any connexion 
between this and the southern defences has been discovered. It is 
clear that even under the later emperors, the defensive works were 
constantly being extended, until the repeated irruptions of the Al- 
lemannic hordes destroyed them. At the commencement of the 
fourth century the Allemanni were in possession of the former 

As Roman colonies within the boundary line of defences, besides 
those in the north already mentioned, the following are further cited : 

1. CasteUuM Valaitimamy in the neighbourhood of Manheim. 

2. Ciuitas AureUa A^aensiSj called also merely AqtuB^ the present 
Baden; it is not cited, it is true, in Roman authors, but from inscrip- 
tions that have been found, it is at least clear that a Roman gar- 
rison and baths were here, already at the end of the second century. 

3. Tcarodunum^ near Friburg, in Breisgau, where the Mark or 
boundary, Zarten, is still found. 

4. Ara Flavia^ Rotweil, together with several others. The 
whole titheland is full of the remains of Roman buildings, forts, 
citadek, and temples, bridges, streets, towers, pillars, and baths. 




486 A.D. 


B. c. 113—6, ▲. p. 

Hie Cimbii and Teotoiu, 113-101 b.c. — Cncar and ArioYistiu, 58 B^.— Jnliiia CsBaar 
on the Bhine— Commenoement of the great German Wan— DnuniB in Germany 
— Marbodlua, King of the MarcomannL 

The Roman and Ghreek writers who give information upon tliis 
period of ourluBtory, have aheady been mentioned at the commence- 
ment of the Introduction. In addition to those, we may include 
here the subsequent chronicles of Prosper and his continuators, Marius 
especially^ Idacius and Marcellinus, which are collected together 
by Roncallius, in his " Vetustiora Latinorum Chronica," 2 vols. 
Further, is to be named Beda Vcnerabilis, a very learned English 
monk, who died in the year 735, and who has left behind him a wiro- 
nicle, " De Sex iEtatibus Mundi," to 726, and a " Hist. Eocles. Gentis 
Anglicans." Finally, we have likewise collected largely, for this 
earher epoch, from Jordanis, who will be referred to m the second 

Efforts have been made to trace back the signs of migrations and 
contests of German tribes on Roman and Greek ground to very early 
times, and especially to the invasion of the Grauls imder Brennus 
into Italy in the year 389 B. C, and the incursion of the Gratils 
again, under a second Brennus, through Thracia and Macedonia, 
as far as Delphi, in the year 278, as refernn^ to Gennan tribes 
from the vicmity of the Alps. But these indications are much 
too obscure and fragmentary, and to pursue the inquiry would pro- 
duce no essential contribution towards a knowledge of our national 
records. We shall therefore commence the runnmg thread of our 
history, after, as before, with the incursion of the Gmbri and Teutoni. 


It waa in the year 113 B.C. ihat a wild and unknown tribe croenied 
the Danube, and appeared upon the Alps, where the Romans 
guarded the passes into Italy. In this same year they defeated the 
Koman consul Papirius Carbo, who commanded the army here, 
near Noreja, in the mountains of the present Styria. Garbo had 
proved treacherous to them, for upon their request to remain on 
mendly terms with him, he had provided them with false guides, 
who led them astray among the mountains, whilst he advanced by 
a shorter road and tell unexpectedly upon them. For this breach of 
fidth they punished him severely, and he and all his troops would 
have been utterly destroyed had not a heavy storm intervened and 
assisted his flight. 

No one knew whence these fearM hordes originally came; they 
called themselves, according to the account of the Romans, Cia/nbri 
and Teut€nL Upon collecting together the isolated narratives of 
writers, it appears that the CSimbri had abready , for a length of time, 
been wandermg about, and had fought with many nations, especially 
with the Bai^ and now, quitting the Danube, appeared upon the 
Roman frontiers. Whether they are to be considered as collective 
tribes intent upon migrating, or only as troops of warriors seeking 
adventures (as was subsequently the practice of the Suevic warriors 
under Ariovistus), or, forming themselves by degrees into one entire 
mass by the junction of women and children, they required a country 
wherein to settle, we cannot, owing to the deficiency of precise in- 
formation, positively decide. If the Cimbri, as is the general opinion, 
proceeded from the Gimbrian peninsula, so called b^ the Romans, 
out which now is the present Jutland, it is very certain that only a 
portion of the tribe could have left it, as it was still occupied by that 
.tribe at a much later period. But if the name Kimber, as others have 
surmised, implied merely Kdmpfer^ fighters, (Kamper, SiTenuus\ 
they may then have belonged to other German tribes^ probably to the 
Suevi. Opinions likewise differ upon the name of the Teutoni. Some 
believe it was not the name of an individual tribe, but that the Ro^ 
mans, hearing that these Gimbri were Teuten or Teutones, imagined 
that they had a second tribe to contend with, which they called 
Teutoni. According to the opinion of others, the Teutoni were 
wanderers of several tribes between the Vistula and the Elbe, who, 
urged forward by the eruption of the Gimbri from their northern 
peninsula, formed themselves into an individual horde, and called 
themselves Teuten, or Teutones, the collective name of all the German 
races. Others fix the home of the Teutoni in the northern Scandi- 
navia, in favour of which their iron armour appears to say much 
already. But we shall follow the accounts of the ancient writers, 
who always name the Teutoni as an individual tribe, and remind us 
that Pytheas had already, more than three hundred years B.C., heard 
the name of the Teutom on our northern coasts. 

After the Gimbri had fought near Noreja, they advanced 
Ihioagh the firuitful district that lies between the Danube and the 


Alps, towards southern Gaul^ wliicli appears originally to have been 
the aim of their exertions, and many tnbes from Germany, Gaul, and 
Switzerland, strengthened their numbers, particularly the Ambroni 
from the Emmegau, and the Tigurim (Zurichers), a valiant tribe at 
the foot of the Alps. They demanded a country from the Romans, 
for which they promised military assistance for every war. The Ro- 
mans, however, refused their request, when they determined to obtain 
by valour and the sword what they could not acquire by treaty. 
Four Roman armies, one after the other, were defeated and almost 
annihilated by them and their confederates — the first imder the 
consul Junius Silanus, the second under the consul Gassius Longinus, 
who fell in the battle, the third under the legate Aurelius Scaurus, 
who was taken prisoner. When he was brought before the council 
of the Germans, in order to give them intelligence respecting the 
passage over the Alps, he advised them to forego their intention, call- 
ing the Romans unconquerable. Angered at this, a young German 
pnnce, Bojorix, stood forth and struck Scaurus to the ground with 
his sword. 

The Romans, who already thought of conquering the whole earth, 
but saw themselves now defeated by a horde whose name they scarcely 
knew, collected together another large army, under the consul Marcus 
Manlius, and sent it to the assistance of the consul Scipio, whose le- 
gate, Scaurus, had just been vanquished. But envy and dissension 
existed between the generals, and the Germans taking advantage of 
this, gave such battle to this large army, that 80,000 of the Romans 
and their allies were left dead upon the field, with 40,000 of their 
slaves. Manlius fell with his two sons, but Scipio escaped, with, it 
is said, but ten men. This day was, henceforth, considered by the 
Romans as one of the most unlucky in their calendar, and the city 
of Rome, as well as the whole country were seized with such a panic 
that in Rome for a very long time after, any uncommon alarm was 
called, a " Cimbrian panics The enemy, however, did not take ad- 
vantaj^e of this opportunity, the reason for which neglect is not known ; 
but, mstead of advancing upon Italy, they turned aside towards the 
south of France and Spain, and gave the Romans time to recover 

The Romans possessed but one man who still sustained their hopes, 
this was Caius Marius, a rude, proud man, but a valiant wanior. 
He was of low origin, and had raised himself by his talents alone; 
he was, therefore, hated by tlie patricians, but they were obliged, in 
opposition to all hitherto followed rules and against the laws, to make 
him consul several years in succession, in order that he might free 
them fix>m their terrific German foes. 

Maiius collected his army and conducted it over the Alps towards 
Gaul, as &r as the river Rhodanus (the Rhone), and formed there a de- 
fensive camp. He re-established the ancient discipline and order in 
his army, which had been long neglected, and to which was to be at- 
tributed the mischances that had befallen them. He, therefore, kept 
himself for a long time quiet in his camp, that he might accustom 


his iramors to the view of the large gigantic forms of these stran- 
gers, and to the tone of their fearful voices. And when ever he 
observed that a small troop of his enemies were alone, he quickly took 
advanta^ of the favourable opportunity, and made a sortie upon 
them with great strength and superiority, that his troops might 
leam to conquer them by degrees. This delay was irksome to the 
war-hunting Germans, and they often came to the very walls oif the 
camp, mocked at the Koman army, and called them out to battle, 
but Marius was not to be diverted from his plan. 

The Grermans had now divided themselves into two bodies. The 
Cimbri had passed up the Rhodanus through Switzerland and the 
Tyrol towards Italy, but the Teutoni remained opposed to Marius. 
When these latter perceived that their challenge was not accepted by 
their opponents, they also broke up, marched past his camp on the 
road to Italy, and called out jeeringly to the Roman soldiers, asking 
them ^' if they had any commissions to send to their wives?" The 
multitude was so sreat that they were six days passing the camp in 
uninterrupted ranks. 

Marius followed at their side, continuing always upon the heights, 
that they might not unexpectedly attack him; he then re-encamped 
himself opposite to them near Aquae Sextise, or which is the present 
town of Ajx, in the south of France. In the spot he had selected 
there was but little water, and when his warriors complained of thirst, 
he pointed with his hand to a river that ran close by the enemy's 
camp, and said, " Behold, yonder is drink offered you — but only to be 
purchased with blood." They rej)lied, " Why do you not then 
lead us at once against them whilst our blood still flows ?" He 
however returned, in a steady voice, '^ The camp must first be 
secured." — And the warriors, although unwillingly, obeyed his 
orders; to such an extent had this strict leader been able to re- 
establish military discipline. Of the baggage men, however, 
many hastened in a multitude to the river to procure water for them- 
selves and the beasts of burden, when, meeting with a few of the 
enemy who were indulging in bathing, they speedily came to 
blows with them, and as the cries ot the combatants drew to 
their aid more from both sides, there arose a sharp skirmish with 
the Ambrom^ whose camp lay on the Roman side of the river. The 
Ambroni were driven back into their camp of waggons, and then a 
seTcre battle took place with the women, who burst forth with swords 
and axes, attacking as well their own countrymen who retreated, as 
the pursuing Romans. Night separated the combatants. But this 
night was in many ways terrific and dreadful. There arose from the 
camp of the Grermans a strange mixture of voices, not like lamenta- 
tion and sorrow — although it might have meant a mourning-cry for 
the dead — but resembling a deadened roar as of wild beasts, which 
was re-echoed by the mountains around, and by the shores of the 
stream. Terror seized the Romans ; they feared the enemy might make 
a night attack, which would easily have thrown all into confusion; 
for their camp, owing to the battle, was still without walls and 


ditches. But the enemy etirred not; they lemianed quiet, and 
continued so up to daybreak. Marius now laid down his plans for 
battle. He placed the infitntry before the camp, but the cavalry he 
sent down into the plain, and he despatched ms Heutenant-^eneral, 
Claudius Marcellus, with 3000 heavy armed soldiers forward to oc- 
cupy the wooded heights behind the enemy, with the command to 
advance from his ambush at the commencement of the fray. 

When the Teutoni observed the Romans place themselves in 
order of battle, they were seized with such a desire for the fight that 
they did not await them in the plain, but clambered the heights 
against them. But as they arrived, breathless and panting, the 
Romans received them courageously and with closea ranks, and 
drove them back again into the plain. Marcellus did not waste this 
decisive moment, but broke forth in full gallop, and shouting from 
the wood with his three thousand horsemen, fell upon the rear of 
the enemy, who, pressed on both sides, soon got into disorder, and 
took to night. The Romans pursued them, and either killed or 
took prisoners more than one hundred thousand. Shortly after- 
wards the prince of the Teutoni, Teutobod, was also taken prisoner 
in his flight across the mountains, and was subsequently forced 
to form in Rome the chief ornament in the triumphant train of 
Marius; and according to the account of the Romans, he was so tall 
and lofty that his figure rose above all the trophies, and so active, 
that he could leap over from four to six horses. But Marius 
burnt the arms and entire booty *as a great and splendid sacrifice 
to the gods, excepting only what he selected and preserved of 
the most costly and rare. This battle, near Aquae Sextise, took 
place in the year 102 B. c, and eleven years aller the battle of 

The exultation of Marius and his troops was speedily damped by 
the intelligence that the consul Catulus had be^ repulsed by the 
Gimbri in Upper Italy. These latter had, although late in the year, 
crossed the Alps, and drove before them the enemy, who guarded 
the mountain passes. The latter looked with astonishment upon 
these powerful strangers, who, in their delight at their native snow 
and ice, as well as in the consciousness of their hardy powers of endur- 
ance, revelled naked in the snow, ascended over ice and deep snow 
to the summits of the mountains, and then sitting upon their broad 
shields, slid down from the peaks of the most precipitous declivities. 
The consul was obliged to retreat behind the river Athesis (the Etsch), 
but erected defences on each side of the bridge he had built. When 
the Gimbri, advancing closer, had surveyed the river, they com- 
menced, giant-like, to break rocks from the surrounding summits, 
and cast tnem, with stones and earth, into the stream, m order to 
check its course; they loosened the piles of the Roman bridge with 
great weights, which were driven crashing against them dv the 
floods, 80 that the Romans, in their tenor, deserted their defences 
and their camp, and took to flight; and not until they had crossed 
the river Po did they again take up a position. 


The CSmbri now spread themselyes over the rich and beautiM 
plains of Upper Italy, and delayed going at once and direct, as they 
should have done, upon Rome ; the charms of the country completely 
enchanting them. Instead of their rude camp beneath the open sky, 
they now accustomed themselyes to the shelter of a roof and its com- 
forts; instead of tlftir cold baths, they now took warm; instead of 
plain meat, they indulged in choice didies; but, above all, they sank 
mto intemperance by wine drinking. Catulus, in the meantime, 
waited beyond the Po until Marius returned from Graul with his vio- 
toiious army and joined him; when they both advanced forwards 
over ihe river. As soon as the Cimbri were apprised of this, they 
collected tiieir troops, and, in expectation ot the Teutoni, whose 
miafoTtune they were either ignorant of or did not believe, they sent 
to Marius once more to demand of the Romans a country for them- 
selves and their brethren. Wben thej named their brethren, the 
Teutoni, Marius ridiculed them, and said, '* Think no more of your 
brethren ; they have their land already, and you likewise shall receive 
quite sufficient from us." The ambassadors censured him for his 
ridicule, and said he would speedily receive his punishment jBrom the 
Cimbri on that very spot, as also from the Teutoni the moment they 
arrived. '' They are here already," said Marius; " and itwotdd not 
be right to allow you to retire without having greeted your bre- 
thren." And with that he ordered the captive princes of the Teutoni 
to be brought forward in their fetters. 

Struck with amazement, the ambassadors returned to their camp, 
and the Cimbri immediately broke up; Bojorix, their prince, roae 
to the Roman camp, and challenged Marius, with the Komans, to 
battle, at any place which he might appoint. Marius replied, ** It 
was not usual for the Romans to make their enemies acmiainted be- 
finehand with the day of battle, yet even in that he would show him* 
aelf agreeable to the Cimbri;" and he accordingly appointed the 
Jtmidtan plain, between Vercelke and Verona, as the place of battle, 
and fixed the time for the third day following. 

After the lapse of this interval, the Cimbn quitted their camp in 
eood order; they placed their infantry in a square, but the cavalry, 
15,000 men strong, turned to the right, and endeavoured, by this ma- 
ncBuvre, to brin^ the Romans between themselves and llie infantry. 
Their cavalry, Tor the greater portion, was equipped in the most 
sumptuous manner possible; they wore helmets which were made 
to resemble the throats of terrific animals, or other firightful ob- 
jects, with'a full waving crest, which increased the size of their gi- 
gantic figures, and their iron armour and shining shields glittered 
afrr. Every rider had a double javelin, and for close combat a large 
heavy sword. They had obtained these choice arms very probably 
in victorious battles during their long incursions. The mfimtry, 
however, poured itself forth upon the plain like an immeasurable and 
moving sea. Maiius, at this moment, washed his hands, raised them 
to th« gods, and vowed to them a great sacrifice, should he conquer; 


Gatulus also, with raised hands, made a vow for the success of this 
day. And when the entrails of the slaughtered animal were shown 
to Marius by the priests, he exclaimed, with a loud voice, so that the 
multitude might hear him, *' Mine is the victory T 

A severe and bloody battle now began. The heat and the sun 
which shone in the eyes of the Grermans, aidedlthe Romans. For 
the former, brought up in cold and shady parts, could endure the 
cold but not the neat; profuse perspiration enervated their bodies, 
and they held up their shields to shelter their eyes from the sun. It 
was precisely in the month of July, when the summer's heat is most 
intense, that the battle was fought The dust also was opposed to 
them, for it completely enveloped them, and concealed irom the 
Romans both their numoers and their terrific aspect, so that the latter, 
not being previously alarmed by their appearance, fell at once upon 
the ranks of their enemies. The most dreadful dose conflict ensued, 
wherein the Romans derived a vast advantage over their enemies from 
their short broad swords. They had also so accustomed their bodies 
to the labours and discipline of war, that not a single Roman was 
observed to perspire or to lose his breath, even in the most suffocating 
heat. Besides, Marius had invented a new weapon, a kind of long 
barbed spear, which the Romans hurled against the shields of their 
enemies, and with which they forced these down, so that the indi- 
vidual remained exposed. 

Thus it happened that the largest and most warlike portion of the 
Gimbri were killed. The foremost rank had bound themselves to* 
gethcr with long chains or co^ds, fixed to their girdles, that they 
might not be forcibly separated; and they now lay on the field as it 
were strung together. When the Romans, pursumg those who fled, 
arrived at tneir waggon-camp, their eyes beheld a sad and mournful 
scene. The wives of the Germans stood, dressed in black, upon their 
waggons, and themselves destroyed the fugitives as they arrived, nay, 
even their own little children they cast oeneath the wheels of the 
waggons, and under the feet of the beasts of burden, that they might 
not fall into the hands of the Romans; and they then killed them- 
selves. Many of the men also slew themselves, for they feared slavery 
more than death. Sixty thousand were, however, taken prisoners, 
and as many more upon this fatal day were exterminated. 

Thus was concluded this severe and bitter war, which the Romans 
considered equally as critical as the earlier one, nearly three hun- 
dred years before, when the Gauls under Brennus burnt Rome; and 
thence they called Marius the third founder of the city. But the boys 
and youths of the Cimbri and Teutoni, who were made prisoners m 
these battles, and conveyed away as slaves, amply revenged hereafter 
the blood of their fathers and their brothers in that of thousands of 
Romans, whom they slew in the servile war under their leader, 

Notquite fifty years had passed afler this first essay at arms of the 
Germanswith the Romans,whentheformeragainadvanced towards the 



Roman frontiers, in smaller numbers, certainly, than at the first 
time, and perhaps not with the clearly defined purpose of invading 
Italy; but conquest and the prospect of booty probably woula 
speedily have increased their forces, and the fruitful pastures, as 
well as the full granaries, of the natives, would have allured them 
from province to province, imtil the fame of the smiling country 
beyond the Alps might have suggested to them the path over these 
towering frontier walls, had they not found an opponent who knew 
at least the art of war as well as Maiius. 

Ariavistus, a king of the Marcomannic Suevi, between the Danube 
and the Neckar, was appealed to for assistance by a Grallic tribe, the 
Sequani, against another tribe, the jEdui; in the year 72 B. C, he 
passed over the Rhine at the head of an army, and obtained a victory 
for the Sequani; but the beautiful plains of the present Burgundy 
pleased him so much, that he would not again quit them. At en- 
mity equally with the conquerors and conquered, he seized a space 
of land, and when the Grauls had united against him he put them to 
flight near Magetobria (now Mumpelgard). He, perhaps, originally 
went forth upon this adventure as a duke with his warlike tram, but 
more and more Germans flocked to him, attracted by the celebrity 
of this beautiful country, so that he speedily had under him an army 
of 120,000 men. The whole of Gaul trembled before him ; the tribes 
believed themselves already vanquislied or driven from their ancient 
seats. The Romans, however, who possessed already in Southern 
Graul Bi subjected province, acknowledged Ariovistus as king in his 
conquered territory, and called him frieud. 

But speedily afterwards Julius Caesar, one of the greatest and 
boldest of Roman leaders, appeared in Graul. Burning ambition 
excited him to great warlike undertakings, and he had arrived in 
these districts with no other view than to subject the whole of Gaul 
to the Romans. The .Mdm and other Gallic tribes, now turned to 
him and demanded aid of him against the Germans. Caesar gladly 
profited by this opportunity of advancing farther into Gaul, promised 
them help, and demanded an interview with Ariovistus. 

Ariovistus answered proudly and boldly, that, " K he himself de- 
sired aught of Csesar he should come to him, and if Csesar desired 
aught of him he must do the same. Besides, he could not under- 
stand what Caesar or the Roman people in general had to do in his 
Gaul, which he had conquered by the force of arms?" 

Cs^ar replied to him: '^ As he had refused his invitation to an 
interview, he at once would briefly state what he desired of him, 
viz. : in the first place, tliat he should not bring any more Germans 
across the Rhine; and, secondly, that he should return to the Gullic 
tribes their hostages, and treat them no longer as enemies. If he 
fulfilled these conditions, the Roman people would hold constant 
peace and friendslii^ with him; if not, Ce^r would not behold the 
mjuries of the .£dui with indifference." 

Arioristus, in his reply to this, referred boldly and candidly to the 



right of arms, according to which the conqueror might treat the 
conquered as he pleased. It was thus the Romans themselves were 
likewise accustomed to act, who well knew too how to make use of 
their rights; he only required therefore to be left to do the fi(^me. 
And with regard to Cs^r's announcement, that he would not let 
the injuries of the JBdui remain imrevenged, Ariovistus replied: 
*• No one had hitherto contended with him but to their ruin. If 
Cffisar wished, he might begin the contest; he would then learn to 
know what unconquered Germans, perfectly practised in the use of 
arms, and whom no roof had sheltered for fourteen years, could 
j>erform." Truly, the language of a hero of the great tribes-mi^- 
tion; to whom his sword stood in lieu of hereditary right and title 
deeds, and who, with his brethren in arms, was detenmned to repose 
xmder no roof imtil he had conquered the sought-for cotmtiy of his 
new home ! 

With any other opponent this bold declaration might have pro- 
duced its influence, and been effective; but Caesar, who even in 
Rome itself could not endure to be the second, felt thereby the 
more excited to measure himself with such an enemy. He ad- 
vanced against him and occupied Vesontio (Besan^n), the chief 
city of the Sequani, which was very strong and richly provided 
wim all the munitions of war. Whilst he remained here a few days, 
a very dangerous despondency suddenly overpowered his army. 
The statements of the Gauls who had been so often beaten by the 
Germans, the descriptions given by the traders who had travelled 
through their country, the (Jose proximity of the terrific enemy him- 
self, tended, combined altogether, to present before the soul of the 
Romans so fearful a picture of the strength, the valour and ferocity 
of the Germans, within whose annihilating glance it was impossible 
to stand, that many who had thus far voluntarily followed Cs^ar, did 
not hesitate inventing any excuse to enable them to return home. 
Others whom shame retamed, could however so little ffovem them- 
selves, that they frequently broke forth in tears, and m their tents 
Borrowftdly mourned their ill-fortune. Throughout the whole camp 
all were engaged making their wills publicly; and at last even those 
became tainted by the panic, to whom the dangers of war were by 
no means strange. And, in fact, there was a general murmur against 
their rash leader, for thus unnecessarily seeking so perilous a battle. ' 

Caesar, in order to subdue this impression in his army, summoned 
forth the whole force of his eloquence. He collected together the 
leaders of his host, and represented to them that a wax with Ario- 
vistus was as yet by no means certain; he much more expected that 
the latter would listen to the voice of justice and of peace. But 
should he, from a mad love of battle, absolutely desire it, they had 
only to remember the defeat of the Cimbri and Teutoni, and the ser- 
vile war just ended, wherein the Germans also were conquered as well 
as the Helvetians, not being able to resist the Roman arras. But if, 
notwithstanding, all these reasons could not serve to tranquilliie them, 


and none would follow him, lie would at once advance against the 
foe with the tenth legion alone, for on their fidelity he could de- 

This address made a deep impression upon their minds. The 
tenth legion thanked him immediately for his confidence, and all 
the rest emukted each other in displaying their readiness. Caesar 
broke up forthwith, and advanced nearer to the German army. An 
interview which he held with Ariovistus at his desire, was as firuit- 
lesB as the previous negotiations, and Caesar now wished for nothing 
but a battle. But Anovistus took up a position in which he cut off 
fix>m the Romans all the supplies, and caused his cavalry, which by its 
mixture with the Ught infantry, was superior to that of the Romans, 
to make skirmishes. But the battle, altnough daily offered by Caesar, 
he did not accept. 

Caesar then learnt from some prisoners the cause of this delay, 
which otherwise was not in accordance with German custom. The 
prophetic wometij according to whose oracles the army acted, had 
announced misfortune should they fight before the new moon. Caesar 
now so^ht a battle more zealously than ever, and advanced dose up 
to the German camp. They then at last <^ew forth their troops, 
and each tribe took up its position — the Harudi, Marcomanni, Tri- 
bocld, Vangioni, Nemeti, Sedusi, and Suevi; they surrounded their 
battle array with waggons and chariots, whereon sat the women with 
wild and loosely fiowmg hair, supplicating all the ranks as they passed 
by, not to allow them to &11 into the bondage of the Romans. The 
battle commenced, and they were soon furiously engaged on all 
sides. The Germans rushed forward with so much speed, that the 
Romans had not time to cast their javelins, and their left wing was 
driven to flight; but their right wing con(|uered on its side, ana now 
were displayed the advantage and superiority of perfect warlike order 
and disciphne. The broken wing of the Romans was re-formed, 
when the third division advanced to its aid; the ranks of the Ger- 
mans, however, remained in confusion, for their army, although 
extremely valiant, was deficient in strict discipline and order. They 
were therefore at last driven to flight on all sides, and hastened 
towards the Rhine. But the Roman cavalry overtook the greater 
part, and but few, among whom was Ariovistus, saved themselves 
by swimminff or by traversing the river in small boats. His two 
wives were killed m the flight, and of his two daughters one was 
likewise slain, and the other taken prisoner. Of Ariovistus himself 
history says nothing further. 

When Caesar had driven Ariovistus across the Rhine he began the 
subjection of the Gtdlic tribes, who were not equal to the Germans 
in valour. He conquered one after the other, and kept constantly 
advancing to the lower Rhine. Intelligence then came to him that 
two German tribes of the lower Rhine, the Usipeti and Tenchterij 
pressed by the Suevi, had passed over the Rhine to seek a new set- 
tlonent in GauL They had with them their wives and children, 



their slaves and herds, as well as the rest of their property, and were 
upwards of 430,000 strong. As Caesar now, however, considered 
Gaul to belong to him, he desired them to retrace their steps. 
They, however, replied '* That they had been forced by the Suevi 
to wander from their homes; they desired nothing but a land to 
dwell in; he ought therefore to leave them the fields they had con- 
quered with their arms, or give them others instead. Besides, it was 
not German fashion to avert a battle by intreaties, but to make a stand 
against those who desired the contest; he was therefore free to choose 
their friendship or war. They yielded to none but the Suevi, to 
whom in battle even the immortol gods themselves were not equal; 
but excepting those there dwelt none on earth whom they could 
not conquer.' 

Tliey nevertheless were conquered by Caesar, but only by Italian 
cunning, for as their princes and chieftains came to an arranged inter- 
view with him, he suddenly seized them as prisoners, fell immediately 
upon their camps, and beat and scattered tne whole tribe, which was 
now without a leader. Some of them fled back across the Rhine to the 
Sigambri. Caesar required them to be delivered up. The Sigambri 
answered: *' The Rhine at least was tlie limits of the Roman empire; 
if he did not wish the Germans to cross the Rhine against his will, 
why did he presume to give orders on their side of the river?" 

Such lan^age vexed the proud Roman. He likewise still bore 
fresh in mind, that the Suevi under Anovistus had already fallen 
upon Graul ; therefore, he determined to build a bridge over the Rhine, 
and make the German tribes feel in their own country the power of 
the Romans. In ten days he constructed with much ingenuity, in 
the coimtry of the Vbi^ oelow the place where the Moselle falls into 
the Rhine (according to some near Bonn, according to others near 
Andemach) a large wooden bridge, and passed with his army over 
Germany's noble stream. This was in the year 55 B. c. He wished 
to attack the powerful confederation of the Suevi ; these, however, re- 
moved their whole property and their wives and children far back 
into the interior of tne forests, and collected all their warlike forces 
in the middle of their domain, there to await their enemy. It appears 
they had selected their ground with great prudence, for Caesar £a not 
consider it even advisable to follow them thus far. He halted only 
eighteen days on the right bank of the Rhine^ devastated with fire 
and sword tne vicinity of the Sieg, where the Sigambri then dwelt, 
and then returned across the river. To the Ubi, who upon this 
occasion had been his faithful adherents, he gave the name of Roman 

But the Suevi had so little fear of the Romans, that they shortly 
af^rwards sent assistance to the Treviri against tiliem. Caesar then 
determined to cross the Rhine a second time. He built a second 
bridge a little above the former place (according to the opinion of 
some near Neuwied^ but scarcely placed a foot in Germany, for the 
Suevi had made their arrangements this time as prudently as before. 
According to the connexion of events, and of the locality where 


Csesar crossed the Khine, those whom he called Suevi must have 
been the Chatti, and these either then have belonged to the Suevic 
confederation, or Caesar, in his ignorance of the German relations, 
has included them as such. 

After this period Caesar didnot again pass into Germany, but he had 
become so well acquainted with the Germans, as being such strong and 
valiant men, that he endeavoured to raise troops from among them to 
serve in his legions. This was easy to him amongst such a brave 
people, where mere were always bold men ready to go forth for pay, 
booty, and the love of war. Caesar was likewise a hero who well un- 
derstood how to win the hearts of his warriors ; he led them always to 
victory. German subsidies helped him henceforth to win his battles, 
and at JFIuarsalus, where he fought the last battle against Pompey , and 
where it was decided which of the two should rule the world, they 
Rfibided him important aid. After the battle had been hard fought, 
Pompey despatched his cavalry against the enemy, that they might 
give decision to the battle; but these horsemen were chiefly proud 
Aornan youths, of the superior classes, who idly thought they could 
not be defeated. Caesar then gave command to his German infantry 
to drive back the cavalry, and called out to them : " Comrades, strike 
only at the face !" He well knew that the vain youths of the metro- 
polis preferred their smooth faces to scars. And the Germans, who 
were sufficiently tall and strong, rushed against the cavaliers as if they 
were themselves mounted, and not on foot, and frightened them 
so much that they speedily took to flight. Thus the day was 
bythemwonforCsesar. Henceforward, there were constantly German 
soldiers in the Roman service, and the succeeding emperors even 
formed of them their body-guard. 

Julius Caesar was murdered as he was about to make himself sole 
master of Rome; but the Romans were no longer worthy of being 
a firee people; they therefore speedily fell into tne hands of masters 
who were worse than Caesar. The first among them was the Em- 
peror Augustus, whose reign lasted from the year 30 B. c to the year 

14 A. D. 

During this time the Romans had subjected a greater portion of 
the &en imown earth. Of Europe, besides Italy, Greece and Mace- 
donia, Hispania, and Gaul, were also subject to them; with that they 
were not however satisfied, but coveted other countries which lay 
beyond the Alps and the Rhine; for the ambition and avarice 
of the Romans knew no limits, and no doubt it appeared very desir- 
able to them to gain dominion over the powerful men of the German 
race according to their own will, and to K>rm the Jlatcer of their armies 
from theb ranks, and by their aid to hold the rest of the world in 
obedience. They at first attacked those tribes which dwelt upon the 
ades of ihe Alps towards Germany, in the mountains of Gmubiinden, 
the Tyrol, Saltzburg, and Austria: wild tribes, partly of Gallic and 
partly of unknown origin, who could not resist the superiority of the 
Bomans, and who were not only conquered, but exterminated or 
sold as slaves. This contest was concluded in the year 15 B. C. 

54 DRUSUa 

Henceforward the river Danube was on thifl side the botmdaiy be- 
tween the Romans and the Germans. From the other ade, however^ 
the river Rhine was no longer to remain so, and Augustus therefore^ 
sent his step-son, Claudius Drusus, to Graul, to attack the Grermans 
in their own country, and he was certainly a hero competent to ao- 
colnplish what was great. 

Drusus imdertook four campaigns in Germany, in the years 12 
— 9 B. 0. He warred with tne Suevi, Chatti, Sigambxi, Usipeti, 
Tenchteri, Brukteri, and Cherusd. He passed on from the lower 
Rhine to the rivers Lippe and Ems, as far as the Weser, 
and in his fourth incursion advanced even to the Elbe. But hia 
irruptions were no conquests. The Germans well understood how 
to conduct war against such an enemv. They retreated firom their 
isolated dwellings into the forests on both sides of the road he took, 
destroyed the supplies they could not take with them, placed their 
&milies in safety, and stayed there until the autumn. The Romans 
were then obliged once again to return, as they cotdd not winter in 
the desert country, from the deficiency of provisions ; and that was the 
moment the Germans had awaited with unpatience. They now an* 
noyed the enemy at every step he took; attacked solitary troops, 
rushing upon them suddenly from the forests, in the most dan- 
serous places, destroyed the wearied stragglers, seized upon their 
bag^ge and allowed them no rest either bj night or day; and thus 
the Komans never returned to the Rhine without conside^ble loss. 

The rapid and extensive incursions of Drusus into Germany gave 
him^ theiefore, great &me among the Romans, but did little haim to 
the Germans. In the autumn, winter, and spring, they dwelt quietly 
in the places which the enemy had again quitted. But Drusus would 
certainly have found at last tne means of establishii^ his dominion in 
Lower Germany had he lived longer. He had made one commence- 
ment towards it abeady. He built strong forts at the mouths of the 
rivers which flowed into the Rhine and the North Sea, that he might 
retain in his power all their navigation; thus being enabled to convey 
into the coimtry a portion of his army with greater security upon a 
fleet of small vessels, and to transport their provisions convemently 
after. For this purpose he also commenced a canal, which was called 
after him the Drusus ditch (and is still called the Drusus Y aart) and 
united the Rhine between Doesberg and Isselort with the IsseL By 
means of this canal the Rhine was brought into connexion with the 
Zuider Zee, the Fkvum ostium of the ancients, and the Romans hence- 
forth, by means of this outlet, were enabled to have communication 
with the North Sea from all their holds upon the Rhine. Drusus 
himself took this mode of uniting himself with the Friesi, and of reach- 
ing the mouth of the Ems by sea, and where he likewise built a fort, 
probably opposite to the present Emden. On the Rhine he built as 
many as fifty of these forts, strongly fortified, especially Bonn and 
Mentz, the last upon the border-limits against the Suevi, and pro- 
vided them with bridges and flotillas for their defence; and upon 


the Taunus mountains, on the heights near the present Homburg, he 
built the fort Arctaunum, intended against the Chatti. Had he, 
therefore, from year to year advanced more and more with such for- 
tresses into Grermany, and so at last have prevented his beinff obliged 
to quit the land again in autumn, the dominion of the Romans, 
together with the adoption of their language and manners might, 
perhaps, have maintained a firm ^und in Germany. But his course 
was already stopped in the fourth year of his impeUent irruptions. 

We will here give a brief sketch of these incursions. The first he 
made was after his legate had revenged himself upon the Sigambri 
for the defeat of LoUius, with his fleet down the Rhine, through his 
canal and the Zuider Zee into the Northern Sea, entering the mouth 
of the Ems. The Friesi were aUies; however, the Brukteri had col- 
lected a fleet in the Ems and opposed him, but they were beaten. Here 
Drusus built his fort at the mouth of the river, and then continued 
his course along the Oldenburg coast, as far as the afflux of the Yade, 
where his ships got stranded, but by the aid of the Friesi and the 
flood were set afloat again. The wmter, however, obliged him to 

In the second campaign Drusus gained the shore across the Lippe, 
as &r as the Weser, m the vicinity of HSxter; but a revolt of the 
tribes in his rear forced him to make a retreat, when he found him- 
self soddenlj surrounded near Arbalo by the Germans. Their too great 
confidence ingaining a victory, which misled them to make an irre- 
gular attack, as well as their thirst for booty, were the means of his 
rescue. He built here, at the junction of the Aliso and Lippe, the 
fort or casde AKso^y in order to have a point (Tappui for his incursions 
against the tribes on the Weser. 

The third campaign he made was against the Chatti, who, pre- 
viously peaceable, had now united with the Sigambri against him, 
because he had built opposite to them the fort upon the Taunus 
mountains; they were beaten but not subdued. 

In the fourth campaign Drusus advanced from th$ fort on the 
Taunus mountains into the land of the Chatti, beat them, as well as 
the Marcomanni imder Marbodius, and forced die latter to retreat far- 
ther eastwards. These attacked the Boiians and forced them to yield. 
Thus did Drusus himself assist in causmg the Grermans to completely 
<lrive before them the Gallic tribes, and to extend their own settle- 
ments. Upon this Drusus turned again to the left against the 
Cherusci, marched on across the mountains to the Saale, and along 
this river downwards as &r as the Elbe (perhaps in the vicinity of 
Barby). It was whilst one day he was here standing alone on the 
banks of the Elbe, which in his mind was not yet to be the limits of 
luB progress, that, as it is related, a supernatural figure in the 
form of a female, appeared before him, and with a lofty, threatening 
air, addressed him thus: '* How much farther wilt thou advance, 

* Bespectmg the locality of Arbalo and Aliso, see the Introduction. 


insatiable Drusus? It is not appointed for thee to behold all these 
coiintries. Depart hence ! the term of thy deeds and of thy life is 
at hand!" 

Whether this was the creation of his imagination, or was de- 
vised by the craft of one of the prophetic women among the Ger- 
mans, mwardly bemoaning the fate of her country, is uncertain ; — 
suffice it, that Drusus, on his return, fell from his horse, and died a 
few weeks afterwards in consequence. 

After him his brother Tiberius commanded the l^ons which 
were opposed to the Germans. He was of an artful and deceptive dis- 
position; and besides arms, he employed other and worse means 
against them. By craft he caused disputes among the tribes, and 
by want of faith he led them into ruin. The Sigambri who were 
one of the strongest and most valiant tribes upon the Rhine, he could 
not conquer with arms. He therefore demanded an embassy from 
them to him for the sake of peace, as ho said; and as the princes and 
leaders came in great numbers, he caused them to be taken prisoners 
and dispersed among the GaUic cities, transplanting also of the 
tribe, wnich was thus robbed of its chieftains, 40,000 towards the 
estuaries of the Rhine and the Issel.* The princes, however, to 
whom life among a strange people was an insupportable burden, and 
who would not, that on their account, their people should be with- 
held from a retributive war against the Romans, killed themselves. 

By such means, indeed, it was not difficult to hold in trammels 
those districts which bordered on the Rhine, or on the rivers which 
flowed into it; and by the aid of the strong forts {)laced there, 
and of the frontier walls or land defences (JimUes\ which enclosed 
the occupied country, the north-western portion of Germany 
as far nearly as the Weser, appeared even alreaay subdued, and, as it 
were, a Roman province. Domitius jEnobarbus, the grandfather of the 
subsequent Emperor Nero, who held the command in the years 
immediately preceding the birth of Christ, pressed forward, even 
across the Elbe. No one hitherto had been so far. He also built a 
road between the Rhine and the Ems, called pontes hmgi^ namely 
dykes and morass bridges, which led from vetera castra^ near Wesel, 
onwards to the vicinity of the Ems, over moors and marshes. 

When Tiberius came a second time to Germany, about the year 
3 A. D., he completely subdued a recent rebellion among the lower 
German tribes, embarked upon theocean, andsailingas far as the mouth 
of the Elbe, fought with the Longobardi, and took up his winter 
quarters among tne quieted tribes near tlie sources of the Lippe, 
probably near the fort AUso. Henceforth this place was the 
point whence the Romans directed all their undertakings against 
the middle of Germany, upon the frontiers of which they had 

* This transplantation of the Sigambri, by which Tiberius thought to extermi- 
nate the tribe, only produced their salvation; for from these new settlements arose 
afterwards the Issel-Franks, who laid the foundation for the greatness of the king- 
dom of the Franks. 


now arrived; and with the nearest tribe therein, the Cherusdj 
they had juBt formed an alliance under the name of friendship 
and confederation; which kind of tmion had, more safely than 
the force of arms, led to the subjection of the tribes. The internal 
organization of tlus province app^ed to be a task possible now to be 
put into operation. But under this great oppression of their country, 
the courage of the Germans did not sleep ; ior, the same as in all times, 
although it was possible to bend their proud spirit, still it had never 
yet been broken. The sources of their aid sprung from among them- 

A multitude of noble Grerman youths had by a variety of events ar- 
rived at Rome; some in the Roman service, others as deputies, or as 
hostages; some again perhaps from ambition. But in the metropolis of 
the world they beheld neither jgreatness nor freedom, on the contrary, 
only slavery, which carries with it these sins ;— meanness by the side 
of arrogance, flattery, dissipation, enervation, and idleness. To be ruled 
hj su(£ masters as the Romans then were, seemed to them the most 
disgraceful of all things. At the same time, however, they became 
acquainted with Roman military affairs, their art of government, and 
theur craft; and what the former had applied to the oppression of theijc 
country, they determined to employ tor its redemption. 

Marbodius, a noble Suevian of the frontier tnbe of the Marco- 
manni, was a youth of this stamp. The Romans describe him as tall 
and stately, self-willed in disposition, and more by birth than intel- 
lect a baroarian, which name they in their pride gave to all who were 
not Romans or Greeks. He had been s^nt youn^ to Rome, and at 
the court of the Emperor Augustus he was particularly honoured. 
When however, he nad seen sufficient of Rome, he returned to 
his own ooimtry, and as he saw that they could not, in their present 
settlements upon the Neckar and the Rhine, well maintain themselves 
gainst the great power of the Romans, which threatened them after 
the conquest of the Alps from the side of the Danube, and, since the 
almost completed subjection of the north of Germany, menaced them 
also from the Maine, ne persuaded his people to quit tneir districts, and 
to wididraw to other settlements towards the cast. The Marcomanni, 
who, by their warlike constitution, were speedily ready and resolved 
for any movement, broke up, and Marbodius lea them to Bohemia, a 
country well defended on all sides by mountains; they drove hence 
the Gallic tribe of the Boji, which haa for generations past wandered 
thither, subjected many tribes around, and founded a great, well- 
tegulated Marcomannic kingdom. His capital was Bubienum, called 
also Marobudum, according to some the present Prague, according 
to oAers Budweis. The Hermunduri, Longobardi, and Senoni, the 
flower of the Suevi, became dependent, and thus his power extended 
&om the Danube across the centre of Germany to the Elbe^ Hence- 
forward he addressed the Roman emperors not humbly as one sub- 
oidinate and weak, but as their equal. 

He had thus far conducted his affairs laudably, and he might now 
^Te become, as it were, a frontier defence for the freedom of the 


whole of Glennaiiy; but it ahnoet appears as if he had leamt too 
much in Rome. He had acquired the love of dominion also fix)m the 
Roman emperors, and had at the same time perceived the art whereby 
the exercise of power over men otherwise free bom, may be confirmed. 
He maintained a body ^uard, introduced all other Koman regula- 
tions, and hitherto no smgle individual had ever practised so much 
authority among the German tribes. His army consisted of 70,000 in- 
fantry and 4000 cavalry, andhe kept it in constant practice by his con- 
tinual wars with his neighbours, so thatitcould be well seen thathe was 
preparing it for still greater purposes. This, however, constituted the 
condemnable and distinctive feature in his character, whence, in truth, 
he cannot be called a great man; inasmuch as all this was aooom- 

}>lished, not for the fireeaom and happiness of his people, but soldy 
or himself, and in order that he mieht alone be called great ana 
powerful, and become honoured and teared. 

He had already appeared so dangerous to the Romans, that Tiberius, 
the son of the emperor, in the year 7 A. B., advanced against him with 
a large army. He intended to attack him bom two sides with 
twenty-two legions, and he was already in full march, when intelli- 
gence reached him that a great rebellion had broken out in Hun- 
gary, Dalmatia, and Blyria, and that all ihe tribes from the Adriatic 
to the Black Sea, who dwelt upon the Danube and among the 
mountains, had conspired against the Romans, and had collected an 
army of 200,000 infantry and 9000 calvary, with which they were 
determined to invade Italy. Fright and terror seized upon all in 
Rome, and the Emperor Augustus exclaimed in the senate, ^^ Ten 
days hence the enemy nmy be within sight of Rome I" 

jUberius immediately concluded a peace with Marbodius, which 
was favourable to the latter, and hastened with his whole army 
against the Pannonian tribes; and, after three years of the most ob- 
durate war, he succeeded in diverting the great danger, and brought 
these tribes again imder the dominion of his father. The latter re- 
joiced, however, but little in this good fortune; for, on another side 
of his empire, the Germans had caused him the greatest loss, and 
had involved him in calamities the most serious he had ever ex- 
perienced during his whole life. 



Arminiiu, or Hermanii — ^Anmoins and Vanu — ^Arminiui and Germanicos — ^The 
death of Arminiua, 21 a. d. — ^Further Wan between the Germans and T^nmimg — 
War with the Maroomanni, 167 — 180 — The Grennanic Confederationa — The Ale- 
manni— The Franks — The Saxon Conlbderation— The Goths— The Decline of the 
Boman Empue. 

The campaigns and forts of Drusus, and the crafty, cunningly- 


deriaed arts of Tiberius, had effected so much in Lower Germany, 
as we bave above seen, that as far as the Weser, no armed tribe any 
loDfer openly opposed the Romans. All was bowed down, the unions 
of the tnbes were sundered, and the minds of many of the leading 
men bad been poisoned by the seductions of the Komans. They 
already began to appear a mffeient race of men, habit and intercourse 
with the strangers commenced already to obliterate their national 
manners. Markets sprang up and were established around the Ro- 
man camps, and enticed the Germans to purchase and barter. Even 
the earth and heavens, says a Roman writer, appeared to be more gentle 
and mild, for the forests had become penetrated and passable, and 
bridges and dykes were built across the morasses; Three complete 
legions, the best of the Roman army, kept guard in the numerous forts 
and camps, and in the midst of our lofty forests of oak, a Roman Praetor- 
sliip was established, together with Koman laws, legal institutions, 
ana appointed functionaries. The Roman governor, Sentiut Satur- 
noncf, who was in Germany in the year 5 or 6 A. D., contributed 
much to these changes ; he was a man wno united old Roman honesty 
ivith affiibility. £& took pleasure in feats and enjoyments, and im- 
parted to the Germans a greater love for the refined mode of life 
among the Romans. QuintiUus Varus succeeded him in the autumn 
of the year 6 ; a man of a weak mind, who was more adapted for the 
occupations of peace than of war, and besides which, was addicted 
to avarice. For it was said of him, that he entered the rich pro- 
^ijce of SjTiia, where he had just been governor, a poor man; but 
when he quitted it, he himself had become rich and had left the 
province itself poor. The Germans, to this weak-minded man, ap- 
peared thoroughly subjected, because they were tranquil, and he en- 
deavoured to fix slavery among them by those gentle but effective 
oieans, which are more pernicious and destructive than the power of 
the Bword, because they assume an innocent garb. He sat in judg- 
ment upon the Germans, as among Romans; decided upon the 
fieedom and property of Germans, and the Roman lawyers, instead 
of the straightforward and simple German custom, sought to intro- 
<Iuoe the sia>tle and perplexing arts of Roman jurisprudence. K it . 
be desired to £x within the heart of a nation, a secretly devouring 
ffid destructive worm, which shall gradually reduce it to that state 
of degradation that it becomes careless to all magnanimous ideas, the 
W of country and compatriots — substituting instead, the more de- 
basing, petty, selfish considerations — it is only necessary to imbue it 
vith a love of law and disputation, that all may become embittered 

r* St each other, and that eveiy one shall know nothing greater 
his own advantage. And as all iudicial proceedings were con- 
<lacted in the Roman hnguage, it was likewise intended thus to intro- 
^Qoe and establish that ton^e among the Germans. For, in order 
V) thoroughly annihilate the idiocrasy, freedom, and independent 
Wings of a people, and to mould it into an entirely new form, it 
»only necessary to deprive it likewise of its peculiar hereditary 
poaseiion— iti mother tongue. 


Varus, however, had much miscalculated when he supposed tlie 
rude Germans were insensible to these cunning arts. The understand- 
ing of imcultivated nations is keenly aUve to those who wish to en- 
close them within nets, and the Germans were supplied by nature 
with ahealthy mind andgood discernment. They quickly perceived the 
source and central point of ruin, and they were beyond all things filled 
with inward rage at the view of the lictors* rods or fasces of the Koman 
governor, whicn were the attributes of his power of awarding corpo- 
real punishment, or even death itself. Nothing was more degrading to 
the free German than corporeal punishment, the disgrace of the most 
abject slavery; and the power of punishing with death, they did not 
even allow to their own princes, but conceded it to the divinity 
alone, who proclaimed the sentence through the voice of his priests. 

Their wrath, however, durst not give itself utterance, but it re- 
mained long concealed in the breasts of individuals, for there was no 
one near, who with a bold mind could collect and fan the glimmering 
sparks into a broad flame. But it was Rome itself that was chosen to 
nurture and bring up to maturity the saviour of German freedom. 
This was ArmirUus, (whom we are accustomed to call Hermann) the 
son of Seffimer, prince of the Cherusci ; a youth of vahant heart and 
arm, of a clear, quick mind, whose eyes proclaimed the fire of his soul. 
By distinguished miUtary service he had acquired the right and 
dignity of a Roman citizen and knight, and had returned to his 
country well instructed and practised in all the arts of war and peace. 
He here perceived the disgrace and ruin which was being prepared 
for his native country; and his mind pondered upon the great means 
of remedy. He speedily discovered a similar feeling to reign among 
the noblest of the Cherusci and the neighbouring tnbes; his inflam- 
ing word inspired their courage;" they prepared the grand blow of 
deliverance, and in order to destroy the Romans the more securely, 
they enticed Varus by a planned rebelHon to the frontiers — as it 
is related by the Roman writers — Etill farther away fix)m the Rhine, 
into the depths of the Teutoburger forest, which flanked the districts 
towards the Weser. 

Varus, however, might still have escaped his fate, through 
treachery: the traitor bemg found amongst tne Germans themselves, 
in the person of Segestes, a prince of the Cherusci, who was an enemy to 
Segimer ; whilst he was envious also of Arminius's great reputation, and 
jealous because this much younger man, by the powers of his mind 
and his heroic virtues, attracted the eyes of all the tribes upon him. 
Even the day before the breaking out of the conspiracy, when Varus 
had collectea the princes at a banquet, Segestus entreated him most 
earnestly to take Arminius prisoner on the spot; but a blind confi- 
dence in his own power, concealed from the governor the abyss that 
yawned beneath his feet. He advanced still deeper into the forest 
which covered the country of the Weser, and the princes quitted 
him with the promise of immediately joining him "with their auxiliary 
troops. They came — their plan being Avell and happily laid— and in 


the midst of the Teutoburger forest (in the present principality of 
Lippe-Detmol), where there are on all sides mountains and narrow val- 
leys, they met him. Nowhere around was a beaten path visible, no- 
thing but athickly ertown and impenetrable wood. Trees were obliged 
to benewn, pits and morasses filled up, and bridges built. It was in the 
stormy autumn season — the month of September; — heavy rains had 
made the ground slippery and every step unsafe, Avhilst the tempest 
roared at the sunmiits of the oaks, whence the tutelary deities of 
the country seemed wrathfully to threaten. Warriors, beasts of 
burden, loaded with baggage and munition, all passed heedlessly on, 
as in perfect security. 

Amidst these terrors of nature, appeared suddenly, on all sides, 
occupying the heights, the Germans as foes, hurling forth their 
destructive weapons against the compressed masses of Romans. 
These could but little defend themselves in their heavy armour, upon 
a slippery ground, and with arms which were spoilt for use by the 
eontmuea rain. They, however^ continued their course under con- 
tinual attacks, and arrived in the evening at a spot where a camp 
might be constructed. Fatigued as all were, they nevertheless 
exerted their utmost powers to raise defences whicn should keep 
the enemy off, in order to provide themselves with at least one quiet 
night, were it even to be tneir last. Thus they awaited the dawn 
of day between hope and fear. In the morning every thing unne- 
cessary was burnt; the soldiers were thereby made lighter for battle, 
and the baggage was also diminished ; this, together with the women 
and children, of whom there was a great number with the expe- 
dition (as no war had been anticipated), they placed in their centre, 
and commenced their retreat, probably in the direction of their fort 
^imo. Their fate seemed to brighten; they came to a more open 

n, where they could muster and regulate their ranks, and where 
rermans did not venture to attack them; but this yas to be no 
lesdng-place for them, they were to resume their march forward, and 
the temfic forest once more received them. The enemy renewed 
and increased his attacks; the tempest still continued, at which the 
Germans exclaimed as thev pursued the Romans: '^ Behold this is 
dome by our God, who wiu this day revenge our wrongs upon our 
enemies." Many of the most vaUant Romans sank beneath their 
wrathful, and unceasingly emboldened attacks. 

In this desperate position night appeared a second time, and they 
a^ain endeavoured to construct defences. But the attacking enemy, 
with his cries of victory, left them no time, and then, when heaven 
and earth seemed to oppose them, and there was no hope of salva- 
ti<m, the courage of tne bravest sank. Varus, seeing now that all 
was lost, and naving already received several wounds, cast himself 

ra his sword; manj^ of the leaders followed his example, whilst 
whole army was either made prisoners or kiUed, very few escap- 
ing. This last battle took place, according to the most recent re- 
settches, very jwrobably between the present Horn and Lippe spring. 


on the southern borders of the lippe* Thus was annihilated the 
finest and most valiant of all the Roman armies, with the auadliaiies, 
40,000 men strong. This was the hour of the heavy retaliation that 
was to be expected upon some such day, from the fury of a severdy 
oppressed, freedom-loving, but still savage people. Many of the 
most distinguished prisoners bled as sacrifices upon the altars of 
the native divinities, others who retained their lives, were used 
for the most degrading services; and as the Romans themselves in- 
form us, several of their distinguished countrymen, to whom at home, 
the gates of entrance into the senate were open, concluded their 
miserable lives as the herdsmen of German flocks, or as the keepers or 
porters of German gates. It is also related, how embittered the Ger- 
mans showed themselves towards the Roman judicial functionaries, 
with the feeling, as it were, that it was bjr their arts that the greatest 
danger was prepared against freedom and independence ; and mrther , 
that a German tore out the tongue of one of these fimctionaries 
with the caustic words, " Now cease hissing, adder I" Such is the 
account of the great Grerman battle of freedom, according to the re- 
lation of our enemies themselves. In what a different hsht should 
we not behold it, had we the testimony thereupon of even one 
German historian I 

But the opinion of all is unanimous and fixed, and it is confirmed 
by the confession of the Romans themselves, that our fiitherland 
owes its freedom to this great victory in the Teutoburger forest, and 
we, the descendants of those races, are indebted to it for the un- 
mixed German blood which flows in our veins, and for the pure 
German sounds pronounced by our tongue. But in Rome tnere 
was universal alarm and mourning; whilst the Germans were full 
of rejoicing, and, storming the forts on this side of the Rhine,t 
cleared the whole country of the Romans. The Emperor Augustus 
was beside himself; in his fury he struck his head against the waU, 
and constantly exclaimed: " Oh, Varus, Varus, restore me my le- 
gions !" For some months he allowed lus beard and hair to grow, 
the guards of the city were doubled, and that no riot might occur, the 
Germans were despatched from Rome, and even the German body- 
guard was conveyed across the sea into the islands. At last Augustus 
vowed great festivals to his god Jupiter, " Should his empire attain 
a more flourishing state."— Thus did it happen in the Cimbrian war. 

In order to meet the more extensive incursions of the Germans 
which were now expected as certain, consequent upon this victory, 
Tiberius was hastily despatched to the Rhine with a rapidly collected 
army; to his astonishment, however, he found every thing quiet. 

* The three days of battle have been calculated by M. Schmidt, not without inge- 
nuity, to haye taken place about the 9 th, 10th, and 11th of September. 

t Aliio held out the longest. It waa bo strong, that the Gennans, being without 
a knowledge of the art of besieging and the necessaiy instruments, could not con- 
quer it by force. They had, therefore, recourse to famine; but the Boman garrison, 
managed, in an unwatched moment, by a ruu de guerre, to slip out, and, alUiough 
with loss, they nevertheless succeeded in reaching the Khine. 


The Gtennans did not desire conquest, they wished only to protect 
their freedonii and according to the very nature of their alliance, 
after the danger was removed each returned to his home. Tiberius 
held the ▼aciTlating Graul in obedience, and passed again across the 
Rhine but without nroceeding very far into the country, and as in a 
few years afterwarorhe succeed Augustus in the empire, he trans- 
ferred to his nephew, Cfemumicusy the son of Drusus, the management 
of the war against the Grermans. 

Ocrmanicus, a young and ardent hero, had before his mind the 
CTeat example of his fawer, and he resolved to revenge the defeat of 
Varus. He undertook three grand campaigns in lower Grcrmany, 
in the same districts where war had previoiislyraged on the Lippe, 
and from the sea up the Ems towmls the Weser and the Elbe. 
Gennany was now again menaced with fresh danger, for Germanicus 
was a warrior worthy of the best ages of Rome. But equally as 
Anninius had obtained victory over bad leaders, so did he now with 
80 much CTs£t and valour resist those better chiefs who advanced 
with lai^ armies, that although he was not always victorious in his 
battles, he obliged his opponent at the end of every campaign to 
withdraw to his fortresses on the Rhine. And thus, on these occa* 
sions, he did not less for the freedom of his fatherland than he had 
previously done in the annihilation of the legions of Varus. 

Germanicus made his first campaign in the year 14 A. D., with 
12,000 Romans and a multitude of allies from the Rhine, where 
Biiderich and Wesel now lie, through the Gsesarcan forest in the vici- 
nity of the Marsi, and fell craftily fix>m several sides upon the un- 
prepared enemy (who, thinking themselves in the midst of peace, 
were at the tame celebrating a great festival), and destroy^ the 
country for fifty miles around with fire and sword. No a^e, no 
sex were spared, and a widely celebrated temple — that of Taufana — 
(according to some in Tecklenburg, according to others in the neigh- 
bouriiood of the present Munster) was destroyed. He did not press 
&rther into Lower Germany, for now the ferukteri, the Tubanti, 
and Uapeti, speedily collected themselves to revenge the mis- 
fortune of their fiiends. The retreat of the Romans was not unac- 
companied by difficulties. It was only by prudence and strict 
order that Germanicus led his legions successiully back across the 

In the following year, afler he had first attacked the Chatti, who 
had joined the confederation of the tribes under Arminius, he rescued 
Segestes, who was hated by his own tribe, and who applied to him 
for assistance and rescue from the hands of his opponents. The feud 
between the two hostile houses had again broke out. Arminius, who 
loved Thusnclda, third daughter of Segestes, and whom the fitther re- 
fused to give to him in marriage, had eloped with, and made her his 
wife. Ifcr father, liowever, recaptured her, and brought her back to 
kis castle. Here he was besieged oy Arminius, in order to recover his 
^; but Germanicus meantime delivered Segestes, and upon this 


occasion he took prisoner Arminius^s consort, Thusnelda, and con- 
ducted her to Rome. But she never forgot her husband or her high 
rank, and in her sentiments she fortunately more resembled him than 
her father. Segestes, on the contrary, who had now found a pro- 
tector, addressed the Romans in the same sense as at all times is usual 
from such as have betrayed their country : " ThVis not the first day 
of my fidelity and constancy towards the Roman people !"— he ex- 
claimed : ** Smce I was made a Roman citizen by the divme Augustus, 
I have, in the selection of my fiiends and enemies, had solely your 
advantage in view; not from hatred towards my country — for 
traitors are hateful to those to whom they twin — ^but from uie con- 
viction that the same thing is beneficial to both Romans and Grer- 
mans, and because I prefer peace to war, the old order of things 
to the new, and tranquillity to turmoil. And now that I am with 
you, I can become to the German people a useful advocate — should 
they choose repentance instead of ruin." 

Thus spoke Segestes. Augustus promised him protection, and se- 
lected a dwelling for him on the Rhine. Arminius, however, felt 
the most violent rage and indignation, and above all it pained him 
most deeply to think, that the child with which his consort was 
pregnant, must first behold the light of day in slavery amon^ 
the Romans. Acting upon these feelings, he forthwith traversea 
the land of the Cherusci, summoning them all to the war against 
Segestes, and against the Romans. His words are rife with the 
most bitter energy: "The noble father! the great leader! the 
vaUant army !" he exclaimed, ironically, " who all combined together 
to carry oiF a weak woman ! Before me three legions, and as many 
leaders have fallen; / do not conduct war by treachery and against 
pregnant women, but openly against the armed; and in our Grerman 
groves are now to be seen the Roman banners which I have there 
consecrated to our native divinities. Let Segestes continue to 
dwell upon the subjected banks of the Rhine. Let him there ob- 
tain the priestly dignity for his son; but let him know that the 
Germans will never forgive him, or forget that they have seen be- 
tween the Rhine and the Elbe the Roman fasces and the Roman 
toga. If, therefore, my countrymen, your iatherland and fa- 
milies, and our ancient German manners are dearer to you than alien 
rulers and their followers, then join Arminius, who will lead you to 
glory and freedom, rather than obey Segestes, who wiU only con- 
duct you to disgrace and slavery !" 

By such fiery language he excited and collected together the 
Cherusci and allied trib^, and at their head appeared at his side 
his uncle, Inguiomar, as the Romans call him, who stood in great 
respect and esteem among the j>eople. 

Germanicus had already retired with his legions to the Rhine; 
upon receiving intelligence, however, of this fresh and great rising 
of the German tribes, ne resolved upon another expedition that same 
year so as to prevent them from making an attack upon the Rhine. 


In order to pass more lapidly, and from several sides into the heart 
of the country of the enemy, he, according to his father's example, 
led a portion of his army by sea to the estuary of the Ems; two 
other divisions imder C<Bcina and Pedo advanced from the Rhine 
through the interior of the country, and thus the infantry, cavalry, 
and the flotilla met together in Westphalia. Unfortunately the 
Romans were not without German auxiliaries; they had Batavian 
cavalry with them — and besides these, troops from the Tyrol and 
Salzburg, as also from the left bank of the Rhine. The country 
that lay between the Ems and the Lippe was devastated; the Bruk- 
teri destroyed their own country themselves, that a waste might lie be- 
fore the Romans; but the latter pressed onward, re-captured in their 
pursuit of the Brukteri the ea^le of the (19th) legion, which the 
latter had taken in the battle, with Varus, and arrived in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Teutoburger forest, where Varus had been de- 
stroyed. Germanicus glowed with the desire to show the last 
honour to the fidlen leader and his army; he sent Coecina forward 
to inspect the mountains and passes, and to lay bridges and dams 
over the deceptive morasses; and then he himself advanced and 
marched over the melancholy scene, ghastly and terrific in its 
appearance as well as in its associations. The vestiges of the first 
camp of Varus might still be recognised by the larger circuit of 
ground, capable of containing three complete legions; the second 
encampment was smaller, the wall half demolished, and the trench 
filled up and level. It was perceptible that the last remnant of the 
army had encamped itself there until they were at length overpowered. 
In the middle of the plain heaps of whitening bones, the remains of 
the vanquished army, lay strewed around, and beside them were 
scattered about the fragments of lances, the bones of horses, and 
even heads transfixed to the trunks of trees. In the neighbouring 
noves the altars still remained, upon which the commanders and most 
disdximiished leaders had been sacrificed to the gods. And some few, 
who, having survived the battle and escaped &om slavery* had joined 
the present army, pointed out here a spot where a leader fell, there 
whero an eagle was seized — ^yonder where Varus received has first 
wound, and finally, where, fiirther on, he gave himself his death 

The Roman army then, in the sixth year after this defeat, buried 
the bones of the three legions without any one of them knowing 
whether he covered with eartli the remains of his friend or enemy; 
the commander himself planting the first turf upon the mound. The 
army now advanced with increased fuiy against the enemy. Armi- 
nius had well understood his own advantage, and retired into the 
fbiesta and morasses ; and when the Romans incautiously followed him, 
he broke forth, repulsed the cavalry, and drove them back upon the 
iniantry. But when Germanicus advanced with the disciplinedle^ons, 
he retired, and the contest remained undecided. The results, iiow- 
erer, were nevertheless those of a victory; the Romans commenced 



their retreat : CoBcina, one of tlie before-mentioned leaders, serving 
tinder Grermanicus, proceeded with four legions across the canntry 
towards the Rhine; Vitellius, another leader, marched with two le- 
gions towards the shores of the sea; and Gteimanicus himself with 
tne third body, embarked upon the ships. 

The road taken by Ccocina was that of the formerly nodced panieB 
lanffif or lon^ bridges, a narrow dam road which ran across immense 
morasses. AU around were gently rising wooded heights;* these 
heights Arminius now occupied, whence ne courageously attacked 
the Romans, and but little was wanting for Goecina to suffer the same 
fate as Varus. The dams and bridges had become so ruined with 
ajge, that it was found necessary to repair ihem, whilst at the same 
tune a camp was formed, and efforts made to keep the enemy off. 
Many of the Romans sank into the morass, for the Cherusci, who 
knew the locality well, drove them to the most dangerous parts, and 
as these people were accustomed to fight amongst bogs, they, by their 
great length of body, and their monstrous javelins which they knew 
well how to cast from a distance, brought the Romans into great diffi- 
culties. Night alone saved the already wavering legions from the 
ruinous battle. But the Germans even then indulgea in no repose, 
for the^ guided the courses of the spring which rose among those 
hills, direct upon the Romans encamped Below. 

This was the 40th year that Coecma had either served or com- 
manded as a Roman warrior; to him the chances of war were well 
known, and his mind, therefore, continued imalarmed in all situa* 
tions. He accordingly gave his orders, and with presence of mind 
commanded what was most expedient in this necessity. The night 
was in a variety of ways most tumultuous. The Germans with their 
rejoicings and shouts made the very valleys below resound, so that 
even the ravines re-echoed with them ; among the Romans there were 
only to be seen isolated small fires, and here and there was heard an 
abrupt voice, they themselves lying dispersed along the walls, or 
sliding about the tents, more because they were sleepless, than that 
they were watchful. Coedna himself was alarmed by a bad dream. 
He thought he saw Varus rise spotted with blood, from the morass, 
and beckon to him; but the Roman did not follow him, and when 
the former extended his hand towards him he struck it back. 

At break of day the march was continued as Coecina had arranged 
it, so that he was covered by two legions on each side. They, how- 
ever, quitted their position upon the Germans attacking them with 
renewed fury, led dv Arminius, who called out to them^ " Here, 
Varus ! here are the lemons already conquered by a like fate !" The 
battle was severe and anunated. Coecinahimselffell with his wounded 
horse, and must have been destroyed had not the first legion thrown 
themsdves before him. The baggage and munition fell into the hands 

* Probably tbe forest heights of Mons Quiua, the so-called Baumberge, between 
Horstmar, Schapdetten, and Cmfeld, where the sources of the Aa, Stewer, Berckel, 
and Benralnyiuetf are fbund. 


of the enem^, and the loes of these was the salvation of the RomanSf 
for they enticed the boo^-Ioiring Grennans from slaii^hter to pillage, 
and the l^ons thus at last aiiived on the open plsan, where they 
encamped.* Their condition was nevertheless deplorable, and the 
soldiers abeady began to complain aloud, that only one dav was now 
left for so many thousands to live; and so great was their terror 
that, when a horse which had escaped, ran towards a few soldiers 
standing in its way, they all thought the Germans had now broken 
into the camp, and they fled towards its back gates. Coecina, to 
faiin^ them to a stand, used intreaties, commands, and threats of 
punishment, but in vain; and as a last resource, he cast himself down 
acrosB the gate, so that the fugitives could pass only over his body, 
and this desperate state of their old and honoured leader, brought 
them at once to their senses and stopped their flight. 

In the mean time the Germans bad surrounded the camp. Ar- 
minins, who knew the firmness of a Roman encampment, would 
not venture to storm it, but preferred conquering the enemy by 
bmine. Hifl uncle, Inguiomar, on the contrary, insisted upon a 
^eedy attack, and his advice, because it was bolder, pleased the 
uennans better. They stormed the camp accordingly, but just in the 
dedave moment CoBCina caused his troops to sally out, beat back 
the besiegers, and forced them to flight. Arminius left the battle 
without a wound, but Inguiomar, his uncle, was severely wounded, and 
the legionfl, as many as were left of them, arrived safely on the Rhine. 

For the third campaign, in the 16th year, A. B., Germanicus made 
Btill greater preparations than he had for the former. A fleet of a 
thoiuand v^sels, small and large, with deep and broad holds, and 
others with flat bottoms for Iwiding, were collected to carry the 
whole Konj, without exposing it to the dangers previously expe- 
rienced by an expedition by land, into the heart of northern Germany, 
and if necesaaiy, so fitted as to bring them also back a^ain. During 
these preparations Germanicus made a rapid expedition with six 
^ions, probably upon the road from the W esel towards Lippstadt, 
on the northern banks of the Lippe, as far as Aliso, to raise the siege 
of this fort, which had been re-taken from the Germans and repaired, 
and which they were now again besieging. It succeeded, for the 
enemy dispersed on his approach, and he strengthened the highway 
hetween Aliso and the Rhme with new defences and dams. But as 
the chief attack was to be made from a different side, he marched 
hack again to the Rhine, and thence embarked his whole army 
rf not less than 90,000 men, and passing through the fossa Dm- 
tuma into the North Sea, landed at the mouth of the Ems. The 
Ch«ud were obliged to supply an auxiliary army, and the Angri- 
^ were forced mto subjection on the Lower Weser. The Roman 
ttmy advanced as &r as tie present Minden. Arminius, at the head 
rftoe CSkemsci confederation, opposed it, and abattle ensuedat Idista- 

* Possibly between Coes^d and Vden. 



vistis, on the Weser (probably between Prussian Minden and Vlotho). 
After a long and warm contest, tbe Germans were obliged to yield 
the field to the Romans, after the latter had gained the nills which 
commanded the plain. But the Romans could only attribute their 
victory chiefly to the German auxiliaries who were with them, 
from the North Sea and from the Danube; and thus, even at the very 
commencement of our history, it appears that GBrmans aided 
aliens in the subjection of their compatriots. But in those rude ages 
this must not be severely censured, lor these tribes from die Danube 
had probably never heard of the name of the Cherusci. In this battle 
Arminius mmself was wounded, and escaped only by the speed of 
his horse; and so great was the slaughter, that from mid-day to the 
very depth of night, the work of murder was continued, and the land 
was covered with bodies and arms to the extent of fifty thousand feet. 

The subjected tribes of these districts had ahready determined to 
quit their seat between the Weser and the Elbe, and retire beyond 
the latter river, when they perceived the trophies, which the Ro- 
mans had raised after the battle, and inscribed with the names 
of the conquered tribes; the sight of this inflamed their wrath more 
than their own wounds and the remembrance of their fallen fitiends. 
The populace, the nobles, the young and the old, all seized arms, 
and again advanced against the Romans. A second bloody batde 
took place in a wooded district between the Weser and the Steinhu- 
der Lake, which proved that the nations' force was not yet broken ; 
for although the Romans ascribed the victory to themselves, they 
nevertheless immediately afterwards commenced their retreat, and 
Germany was saved. Henceforth the Weser never again saw a, 
Roman army. 

The greatest portion of his warriors, Germanicus led back by 
water down the Ems to the North Sea. But a tremendous storm 
overtook his fleet, destroyed a multitude of his vessels, and dispersed 
them on the coasts of Britain. He, himself, was shortly afterwards 
recalled from the command of the armies on the Rhine, by the Em- 
peror Tiberius, who was jealous of his military fame, and he was 
sent to Asia, where he was destroyed by poison in the bloom of 

Thus did this truly German hero, Arminius, who was equally 
great whether in victory or in a doubtful battle, behold his country 
freed from the dan^^er of a foreign yoke. The rapidity and strength, 
with wWcli he roSsed himself iif misfortane/and ^instilled new 
courage into his people, produced its salvation. And be it remem- 
bered, he had not to contend merely with the rising or sinking 
power of the Romans, but whilst it stood in its highest perfection 
and extent. Such an army as fought against the German forces in 
most beautifully regulated military array at Idistavisus, and near the 
Steinhuder Lake, even the most powerful empires of the earth 
could not, up to iJiat time, have resisted. 

After he knew that the frontiers were secured, he turned against 
an internal enemy, who had remained indifferent to the contest for 


Grerman liberty, and whose manners, aped from the Romans, together 
with his despotism, made him doubly hateful to his own tribe, as well 
as to his neighbours. This was Marbodius, the king of the Marco- 
nuumi. After the battle of the Teutoburger Forest, Arminius had 
sent the head of Varus to Marbodius, probably as a token of victory, 
to^hame him,< because he had not taken part in the league against 
Rome; perhaps, also, as an appeal to his patriotism to break forth, at 
this decisiye moment, £rom nis position, so favourable to the Ger- 
mans, from its being so near ana dangerous to the best Roman pro- 
vinces. Bat Marbodius remained inert. The Emperor Tiberius, 
may likewise, perhaps, have employed his usual ingenuity — in order 
to conquer the Germans more /by stratagem than arms— and have 
contributed his share also in this case, to produce a division between 
the two (xerman princes. 

The power of Arminius was now strengthened by the Senoni and 
Longobardi, who, wearied with the system of dominion exercised by 
Marbodius, at once renounced him, and joined the Cherusci; but, 
on the other hand, Arminius was forced to behold his imcle, In- 

Sdomar, desert his own ranks, and pass over to those of the enemy. 
ostUities appear to have been commenced by Marbodius, inasmuch 
as he was the first to advance beyond the frontiers; very probably in 
order to overtake and chastise the renegade Senoni and Longobardi. 
A severe and sanguinary battle was lought, in which, as Tacitus 
states, they did not fight in irregular array, but with perfect mili- 

5 order and discipline. The result of the action was against Mar- 
us; he was forced to retire back to his country, and tnereby lost 
still more the confidence of his people; and, finally, driven away by 
the Gothic prince, Katualda, he ned to the Romans. The latter 
gianted him a pension, perhaps as a reward for having remained neu- 
tral instead of joining Arminius; and, eighteen years afterwards, he 
concluded his life — tne means for prolon^ng which had been fur- 
nished by Roman charity— ingloriously at xlavenna. 

We have no records of the last years of Arminius, except what 
Tacitus relates in a few words, viz.: that he himself having become 
s^ispected of indulmng a desire to rule despotically, a conspuacy was 
ibimed against hun, in which his relatives (possibly Segestes and 
Inguiomar) participated, and he was murdered in the year 21, in 
the thirty-seventh year of his age, and in the twelfth of his chief 
command. But we must not forget that the Romans had this tale, 
probably, from ihe assassins of Arminius, and, perhaps, firom their 
old friend, Segestes, himself; for the whole spirit and teuour of his 
great life testa^ that he certainW desired nothing more for himself 
^ what was justly his due. He may, however, have endeavoured 
to hsYegivento the north Grerman confederacy — whose chief in war he 
^M— a permanency and stability likewise during peace, and thus have 
^wn tne confederation closer together, in oraer that a new enemy 
■1^^ not take them unprepared ; and as his great object in this was 
^"usunderstood, his old enemy, Segestes, and his uncle, who was per- 


haps envious of the great fame of a nephew, 00 muoh his junior in yean, 
may haveavailed themselves of the generalfeeling topromotehiBdown- 
£bJ. The testimony of the great historian of his enemies, does espedal 
honour to the memory of our hero ; for, after the short narrative of his 
death, he thus ^eaks of him: '^ Arminius was, without dispute, the 
emancipator of Germany. In battles not always the victor, he never- 
theless remained in war unconquered ; and he is still celebrated in the 
heroic songs of the Germans. He is imknown in the chronicles of 
the Greeks, for they admire themselves alone; neither among us 
Romans does his fame stand high enough, for we elevate and dig- 
nify only that which is ancient, and have but too little regard for 
that which is modem." 

Henceforth, the Romans thought no more of subduing Germany, 
but applied themselves solely to the means of securing their firontiers 
from the incursions of the Grerman tribes. They therefore continued 
to add to the strength of the banks of the Rhme and the Danube, 
and kept a considerable army, consisting of their best legions, as a 
guard upon the borders. Tlie Emperor Claudius granted to the 
chief seat of the Ubi the distinction of a colony of veterans, and, 
subsequently, in honour of his consort A^ppina, bom in that 
spot, it was called, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne). Tb.e strong camp 
upon the Taunus mountains, which the Romans likewise considerea 
as one of the most important pDints in the district of the Rhine, 
was re-established also by Claudius. 

In the year 69, another serious revolt again broke forth in the 
Lower Rhine, under Claudius Civilis, a leader of the Batavian aux- 
iliary tribes, and of royal birth. Like Hannibal, one-eyed, and of inde- 
Smdent, haughty spirit, he nourished the greatest hatred towards llie 
omans, and, under Nero, had been dragged in chains to Rome, where 
he narrowly escaped death. When, therefore, now a tribute was 
demanded from the Batavians, although they were only bound to do 
military service, Civilis invited all the chiefs to a festivfld in the sacred 
grove, where he communicated to them his plans, and, by his elo- 
quence, gained over the whole body to join m the revolt Messen- 
gers were despatched to all the neighbouring tribes, nay, even across 
to Great Britain; and Civilis, without fiirtoer dday, forthwili at- 
tacked and defeated a Roman encampment, and conquered the fleet 
on the Rhine; but not content with small results, he swore not to 
cut his beard, or the hair of his head, before he had gained a great 
and signal victory. He was now joined by the Canine&ti, Fried, 
and several tribes of the Saxon race; and as soon as he had con- 
quered the Castra Vetera^ and had destroyed or made captives several 
legions, the whole body of Germans, dwelling on the nght bank of 
the Rhine, rose up and joined him, as well as the Brukteri and other 
tribes on the left bank; for their prophetess, Velleda, a Brukterian 
virgin of high rank, had predicted that the power of Rome was now 
approaching its end. Civilis sent her the most valuable portion of 
tne booty he made; and £:om her isolated tower, in the forest near 


the lippe, she herself directed the war. All the fortresses beyond 
Menlz were taken, Cologne was made to pledge itsdf to aboliMi the 
Bhenish dues, at the decree pronounced by Yelleda, that the Oer- 
man trade should be open ana free from taxation. Qallic tribes, also, 
joined the confederation. The Emperor Vespasian who had, mean- 
time, succeeded to the imperial throne, now aeq>atched Cerealis, an 
ez^rienoed and active general, t6 the head-quarters^ where, on his 
aiiiYal, he at once proceeded to sow dissension, and produce sus- 

gaon amongst the army of Civilis against their leaaer; and the 
ads, in aocordance with their usual changeable character, with* 
drew themselyes; whilst Civilis, twice defeated^ was forced to retreat 
among the marshes, and wade through the dykes. Numbers deserted 
liim; Velleda was taken prisoner; and Cerealis, who gained over to 
him the paaeions of the majority, partly by mildness, partly by cun- 
niiig, as well as by mysterious promises, offered terms of peace. Ci- 
vilis then yielded ; the generals met on a river, according to the ancient 
G^man custom, and peace was again restored under the old con- 
ditions of fuxnishing military service only. Of the subsequent fate 
of Claudius Civilis, nothing more is known. 

After these fresh trials at superiority of arms, it was but occasion- 
^7 that any emperor essayed to obtain military fame against his un- 
conquered neighbours, and these endeavours were generally very un- 
SQOMBiful, but m order to conceal the shame thereof, they were obliged 
to invent a variety of plausible excuses. No one, however, had con- 
ducted himself more shamelessly and ridiculously than the Emperor 
Domitianus, who reigned between the years 80 and 90. He com- 
menced a war with the Chatti but did not venture to attack them se- 
liously, for he quickly retired, leaving his purpose unfinished, and in 
order that he might not return to Rome with disgrace and obloquy, he 
piichflsed tall and strong grown slaves in Oaul, dressed them like Ger- 
oums, caused their hair to be died yellow and arranged in the Ger- 
ptt& &shion, and then led them as if they had been German captives 
in triumph into Rome. In the second century after the birth of 
Ciuist, tne Romans had to endure a very severe war with the Ger- 
i>>&Qs which they called the Marcomannic toar, because the Mar- 
comanni were best known to them from time immemorial, and 
^Qse their attack, combined with that of the tribes of the Danube, 
>po8t immediately threatened Italy. But a yet more extensive al- 
liance of the tribes seems to have taken place, for also on the Rhine, 
^d even on the coasts of the Baltic, the ilomans had to endure hard 
^tests. But, unfortunately, the accounts which we must collect 
&om the later historians, (Jul. CapitoUnus, Arl. Spartianus, Dio Cas- 
^^, as extracted from ^philinus, Amm. MarceUinus, Orosius and 
otlieTB,) are very imperfect. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius well 
^derstood the greatness of the danger; he caused the priests to be 
<»Bect6d from all parts, prayers and large sacrifices to be made, and the 
^'iMles questioned respecting the issue of the war. It is also related 
^ Lucian, that a wise man from Egypt, of the name of Alexander^ 


yrho had acquired great fame, was questioned respecting the Mar- 
comannic war. He replied that two lions, well anointed with fra- 
grant herbs and spices, should be made to swim across the Danube 
into the enemy's coimtiy, and that victory would not then fail. His 
advice was followed. The Germans, however, who held these lions 
to be foreign dogs, killed them with clubs, and immediately after- 
wards gained a great victory over the Romans. 

The war now became so desperate that the emperor was neces- 
nitated to receive into his army slaves, gladiators, and others, who 
were previously considered unworthy to bear arms. Even a band of 
robbers from Dalmatia were included in the service; and the em- 
peror, that he might find means to carry on this severe war, sold every 
thing most precious in his treasury, together with his pictures, and 
hisgold and silver vessels, the sale of which lasted two months. 

The Marcomanni nevertheless pressed forward as far as Aquileja, 
which lies on the frontier of Italy, causing a similar panic and con- 
fusion in Rome as at the time when the Cimbri crossed the Alps. 

Had a weak emperor then governed the Roman empire, its mte 
would probably have been decided. But Marcus Aurelius was 
a wise and valiant man, and saved Rome once more &om ^[reat dan- 
ger. He maintained a war for thirteen years against the alhed tribes, 
and had to endure several sanguinary l^ittles, being even obliged to 
maintain a warm skirmish with the Jazyai on the frozen Danube; 
and although he brought many of the tnbes individually to peace 
and thereby weakened the enemy, and succeeded in irritating CSer- 
man tribes against each other, he, nevertheless, did not survive the 
end of the war, but died from his exertions during the campaign at 
Wiiidobona^ the present Vienna, in the year 180. 

It now fell upon his son, Commodus, to lead the army against the 
enemy, and he made a speech to the soldiers, even over the body of 
his father, of what ^reat things he purposed doing, and that the ocean 
alone should set limits to his conquests; but his neart longed for the 
pleasures of Italy and for the sensualities of his metropolis. This was 
well known to his flatterers and courtiers, and as they themselves were 
weary of the fatigues of the camp, they thus addressed him : '' How 
much longer will you exchange Kome for the rude banks of the Da- 
nube, where nothing is to be met with but cold, rain, and eternal 
winter, where not a fruit-bearing tree is to be seen and nothing to be 
met with to exhilarate life? W^en will you cease to drink the frozen 
water of the Danube whilst others indulge in the warm wells and baths 
of Italy?" To such speeches Commoduslistened eagerly and said, ''It 
is true what you say, and if I preserve my life, I can assuredly more 
effectually weaken the enemy than if I expose it to the dangers of war." 
Some of the tribes were so reduced by liis father that thejr willingly 
concluded a peace with him, but from others he purchased it in a dis- 
graceful manner by means of large pi'esents, and then he hastened back 
to Rome. So valiantly, however, had these tribes fought that, upon 
peace being concluded, the Quadi alone gave back 60,000, and the 


Jazjgi 100,000 Roman piisoners; and all that the Romans had 
gain^ by the effusion of so much blood was, that things now 
remained for a short period tranquil upon these frontiers of their 

The proximitj of the Romans on the Rhine, the Danube, and 
the Neckar, had by degrees effected alterations in the manners of 
the Gennans. They had become acquainted with many new things, 
both good and bad. By means of the former they became 
acquainted with money, and many luxuries. The Romans had 
planted the vine on the Rhine, and constructed roads, cities, manu- 
lactories, theatres, fortresses, temples, and altars; Roman merchants 
brought their wares to Germany, and fetched thence ambers, fea- 
thers,* furs, slaves, and the very hidr of the Germans, for it was now 
the &shion to wear light flaxen wigs, instead of natural hair. Of 
the cities which the Romans built tnere are many yet remainij^g, as 
Salzburg, Ratisboime, Augsburg, Basle, Strasburg, Baden, Spires, 
Worms, Mentz, Treves, Uologne, Bonn, &c. But in the interior 
of Germany, neither the Romans nor their habits and manners 
had found friends, nor were cities built there according to the 
fioman style. 

The most im^rtant alteration that took place among the Ger- 
mans at this period, was their concentration mto several extensive 
oonfederatioiLB of the tribes. The more ancient example of the 
Suevi, the later combination of the Marcomanni and Cherusd, and 
perhaps various successful results in other German districts, chiefly, 
oowever, the character presented by tlie great Roman empire, which, 
ootwitbstanding its great corruption, was yet strong by its union : all 
this, as welTas the predominant power of individual tribes, and perhaps 
maay other unknown causes, produced four great confederations of 
the tribes, which probably arose from small beginnings, and had ex- 
isted perhaps for some time, but had only become known and formi- 
dable to the Romans in the third century after Christ. Their origin 
^ TOobably always remain obscure to us. The Roman writers 
here leave us entirely, or are so scanty and tmcertain in their indi- 
cati(ni8, that we cannot build upon them; and the historians who 
afterwards arose among the German tribes themselves, were so 
^orant of their earlier history, that they were only able to pro- 
ouee old traditions, and often placed them in the most wonderful 
^Aiaa in connexion with the narratives of the ancient writers; and 
thus they connected the origin of the German tribes with the Trojan 
w, the expeditions of Alexander the Great, and other specially 
cdefamted events of the ancient world. The confederations of the 
^bes as they occur in history, and as they are actually treated 
therein, are as follow: 

1. The Alamanm^ afterwards called the Alemanni, and AUe- 

- > 

* Hie BomanB celebrated the white German goose, which they even called bj its 
teum name, ^aii«^— Flin. Nat H., x. 27. 


xnanni, between ihe Danube and the Maine ; and eabeequentlji 
after they bad won back the Roman tithe-land, also upon the Upper 
Rhine and Neckar. They spread themBelves later northwarda as 
&x as the Lahn. They were a confederation of Suevic tribes, whose 
formation perhaps emanated from the Hermunduri, and, according 
to the opinion, erroneously formed, of some ancients^ derived their 
name from their being composed of all kinds of men, or manni. 
But it is perhaps more correct to conader the name AUemanm as a 
warlike, confederative name, equally as the Marcomanni signifies the 
War-manni on the frontiers, Germani, the army or Ger*manni in 
general; the AUemanni may theiefore mean the Maimi, who formed 
uie defence for the whole. They were warlike, wild, and valiant, 
and gave the Romans no Uttle uneasiness. Dio Oassius first men- 
tions them in the history of the Emperor Caracalla; accordingly, 
at th9 beginning of the third century irom this period — particularly 
after they had penetrated the Umeg^ and towards the end of the 
third century, aner the death of the Emperor Frobus, when they 
had conquered the tithe-land— they fell upon the effeminate Ghtuls 
(who henceforward, from terror, called all (Germans AUemandi)^ at 
another time made inciirsions across the Danube, and even across 
the Alps into Italy, and each time returned home with rich spoiL 
Northwards from these dwelt: 

2. The Franks f on the lower Rhine, as far as the Netheriands 
and the North Sea; likewise a confederation collected fix>m dif- 
ferent tribes of the north-west of Germany: the Sigambri, on the 
Issel, which appears to have been the chief tribe (the subsequent 
sahc franks), the Chamavi, Amsibari, Tenchteri, Usi]^, Bmkteri, 
Chatti, Cherusci, Tubanti, and others. The Friesi and Chauci 
also joined them afterwards. The name of Frank is variously 
derived by ancient and modem learned men. The broadest deriva- 
tion is that ihey wished to be frank and free people, and thence 
called their confederation. The name of Franks is much more pro' 
bably supposed to be derived from their peculiar weapon, a javelin 
armed with a barbed hook, which writers call Franziska (perhapa 
the ancient/ramea of the Germans). History mentions the Franks 
to us for the first time distinctiy about tiie middle of the third cen- 
tury, as a union of north German tribes. Flavins Vopiscus first 
names them in the Hfe of the Emperor Aurelian, about 242; after 
which the Emperor Julian and otiier lat^ writers. They were also 
very strong and bold. Their high opinion of themselves is ex- 

Eressed in the introduction to the Salic law, where it states: '* The 
igh-famed nation of the Franks, who have God for their judge, 
are brave in war, profound in coimcil, firm in union, noble, manly in 
form, bold, prompt, firm; such is the nation, whidi, small in num- 
ber, by 8tren0h and courage, burst the ^oke of tiie Romans." 
They traversed many Roman countries, particularly Gaul, from one 
end to the otiier, whenever they were excited by the lust of prey 


and booty. "^£7 ^^^^ croeeed the Fyzenees into Spain, and con^ 
qnered the <nty Tarragona. The Romans in the third century had 
so tool a tenure of these countries^ that the Franks and other Ger- 
man warlike hordes, among whom are named the Burffundians and 
Vandals, had possession of seventy considerable cities in Graul. 
Afier a long period a hero again appeared among the Roman 
rulers, in. the Emperor Probus (276 — 282); he drove the Germans 
beyond the Rhine, fell upon their country, and conquered so many 
of them, that in order to reduce them, he was enabled to transplant 
many thousands into other portions of his empire. He conveyed a 
body of the Franks, who hiftd their seat upon the North Sea, more 
dian a thousand miles into a distant country, to the coasts of the 
Black Sea. He expected the Germans would here forget iheir bleak 
£itherland, for here they dwelt in a most beautiful and warm cli- 
mate, and in a rich and delightful country. They, however, could 
not banish firom their recollection the cold shores of the stormy North 
Sea, but only planned how they could return. They attacked and 
took posseasion of several ships, and in them passed, amidst a thou- 
sand dangers and difficulties, through unknown waters, across the 
seas of Grreece and Afirica, and by tne coasts of Italy, Spain, and 
France, towards theb home. They were oflen obliged to land, and 
fij^bt with the natives for provisions; they even conquered the large 
city of Syracuse in Sicily, which the Athenians in ancient times 
bad vainly invested for three years; and they at last came through 
the great Ocean into the North Sea, and back to their German 
coasts. This took place in the year 280.* 

3. The Saxon canfederatum is named, together with the Franks, as 
esrly as the year 288, by Eutropius, and was formed of the remaining 
hamer German tribes who had not joined the Franks, or had a^ain 
eepeiated themselves from them. Amm. Marcellinus next mentions 
tbe Saxons as the neighbours of the Franks about the middle of 
the fourth century, and afier him they are named by many others. 
The greatest territorial extension which they attained in the course 
of the following centuries up to the time of Charlemagne, was from 
the Danes, from whom they were separated by the Eider, over 
Lower Saxony and the greatest portion of Westphalia, and in addi- 
tion they occupied the banks of the Elbe, Weser, Aller, Seine, Ems, 
lippe, and Ruhr. Tbe history of this command of territory by 
the Saxons is entirely unknown to us. If we fix upon the name 
of tbe small tribe of the Saxons which is mentioned in the second 
centunr by Ptolemy alone, and who places them at the mouth of 
the Elbe, and towards Holstein, it then becomes ]probable, that 
these, together with the Chaud, Brukteri, Gherusci, and Friesi, 
(who agam detached themselves from the Francenian league), the 
Angrivari, the Fosi, and other tribes, formed an alliance against 
the powerfiil confederation of the Franks, and drove these who 

* Zotimns, L, 71; EumenioB in Fuegyr., ir^ 18. 


previously occupied the greater portion of Westphalia, fiurther to- 
wards the Rhine. 

The Saxons appear subeequentlj divided into three drcles: that of 
the EastphoKanSy beyond the Weser, in the country of Hanover and 
Brunswick; the WiestphaUans on the Ems, and the Lippe in Miin- 
ster, Osnabriick, &c., as far as the Rhine, and the Engerians^ in the 
centre between both, in the vicinity of the Weser, continuing per- 
ha^ the name of the Angrivaii in an abridged form. 

The Saxons likewise well understood navigation, although in the 
earlier times they possessed but poor ships, formed as they were 
principally of twisted branches and boughs of trees lashed together, 
and then covered over with hides of oxen and bullocks — they 
were called by the name of hieL* They committed many piracies 
and became first known to the Romans at the end of the third 
century, as pirates on the Gallic coasts. We shall find, subsequently, 
that they crossed over to England, and there founded new king- 
doms. They placed themselves only during the wars under the 
leadership of dukes, who afterwards immediately withdrew into 
the ranks of the nobility. In times of peace they legislated by 
representation, and sent from each of the three circles an equal 
number of chosen deputies to their assembly, whose decisions were 
valid for all. Thus the idea of a representative parliament, of 
which the ancient nations knew nothing, originated with the 

But still more powerful than all these tribes were: 

4. The Goths, Their name we have already found on the 
banks of the Vistula. Subsequently, however, it is mentioned fix>ni 
the shores of the Black Sea as far as the East Sea. They were evi- 
dently a union of many mixed nations, as it appears, belonging 
heremtarily to the Gothic race, and perhaps founded already at 
the period of the great war of the Eastern tribes against Mark 
Aurelius. And whilst on the one hand the Alemanni, Franks, 
and Saxons, attacked the country of the Romans, which lay to- 
wards the west, the Goths, on the other, turned their attaclcs to- 
wards the south and the east, the Black Sea and the Danube. 
Already, in the third century, the Romans had to maintain severe 
contests with them. The Gothic king, Eniva, crossing the Danube, 
invaded Moesia and Thracia, conquered several cities, laid the country 
waste, and when the Emperor Decius advanced to meet him, he 
gained so great a victory over him at Abrutum, that the emperor 
himself and his son remained slain upon the field. From this battle^ 
in the year 251, the superiority of the Germans, and the weakness 
of the Romans, became more and more evident, although several 
powerful emperors gained victories over them. Even the successor 
of Decius, the Emperor Gallus, was obliged to purchase peace with 
the Goths, by leaving them all the booty, as well as all the distin- 

* Kid, a Damsh port, still bears this sign in its city arms. 


guifihed ptifloneis, and ^romi^ng them besides a yearly tribute. At a 
later penod they made, in conjunction with the Herulians, several bold 
and dangerous piratic expeditions, £rom the northern coasts of the 
Black Sea, as well as beyond it, to those of the Mediterranean. 
Athens, with many monuments of its flourishing period, the vicinity 
of Troy, and the splendid temple of Diana at Ephesus, were overrun 
by them, and the latter wholly destroyed. 

The great prince of the Goths, who, of all others, spread their do- 
nunioQ the most extensively, was Armanarich, or Hermanrich, 
who lived in the fourth century. He ruled over them for more 
than two generations, and attained himself the age of a hundred and 
ten years. His empire extended from the Black Sea and the Da- 
nube over Moldavia, Wallaphia, Hungary, Poland, and Prussia, to 
the Baltic. 

The Goths early divided themselves into two head divisions, which 
afkrwards, after many changes, impear in the history under the titles 
of the JEastem Goths and the Irestem Goths. Kings of the race of 
the Amalians (probably the pure, without stain) ruled over the 
Eastern Goths; and the Western Gh)ths were governed by the royal 
race of the Baltians (fix)m balt^ bold). Among the Eastern Gotns, 
the (jreuthungi, and among the Western Goths, the Thervingi, were 
the chief tribes. 

Hie Goths belonged to the noblest and most civilized German 
tribes, and had adopted Christianity at a very early period. Their 
bishop, Ulphilas or Wulfila (Wblflein), as early as the fourth cen- 
tury, undertook the truly wonderful task of translating the Bible* 
into their language, until then but little cultivated; and thus was 
speedilj difi^ised among them, together with the belief in the 
Saviour of the world, both gentler feelings and manners. 

Besides these confederations, there were other isolated tribes in 
Gennany, particularly two, who will speedily appear among the 
rest, as distinguished for power and dignity, viz. : the Burgundiy 
eailier on the V istula, ana the Langcbardi^ on the Elbe. 

At the period that the German tribes flourished in their prime, 
and collected and combined their power in large unions, the Roman 
empire, in its declining strength, oecame daily more and more re- 
duced within itself, and its magnitude was a burden to it. The ma- 
jority of the Roman emperors, Irom the year 180 downwards, became 
inagreater degree enervated, and with their efieminacy, grew Hkewise 
dither more and more malignant and suspicious, or they were avowed 
tfiants, and shed the blood of the best men without reserve or shame. 
But even if a good ruler happened to appear, and sought to maintain 

* This translatiaQ is the most ancient, and for us, an invaluable monument of our 
kaguage. For a long period, there only existed two MS. copies thereof: the so-called 
Golfer Aramlhu (of the silver letters), in Upsala, and the Codex CaroUnys, in Wolfen- 
btttteL lliese, however, contain only the four Evangelists and a portion of the Bo- 
Baa Epistles; whUst Ulphilas translated the whole Bible, with t^e exception of 
tk boclu of Samiiel and the Kings. In recent times, however, considerable portions 
tf the remaniiog translation have been discovered and made known in Idllan. 


lidit and order, lie was speedily murdered by the Tirild horde of 
soldiers; for th^ it was wo, in fact, ruled tne empire. Acoord- 
i2ig to their pleasure, thej elevated or deposed tiie emperors; ftnd 
to such diameless extent did they carry their sway, that they pub- 
licly offered the imperial crown for sale, and placed it upon the bead 
of him who gave them the most money. In the course of one hun- 
dred and twenty years, from 180-300, in which period — in the 
ordinary course of thiii^s — six rulers would have succeeded each 
other, no less than six-and-thirty emperors governed the Roman 
empire, of whom twenty-seven were murdered, three feU in war, 
and only six died a natural death. 

It did not, however, suffice that an emperor was destroyed every 
moment, but the murderers slew all his adherents with him; so that 
blood was shed in streams^ and the m^ority, in their selfishness, took 
especial oaxe not to adhere too faithfuUy to their princes to the last. 
In such times, the Romans necessarily became a corrupted, reckless, 
and contemptible people, who only cared to pass their days in idleness, 
luxury, and sensuality. For when man beholds before nim no secu- 
rity for the future, and knows not if the fruits of his industry will 
descend to his children, he then only consnders how he himself shall 
enjoy the present moment; and thus, in his sensual yoracily and 
brutality, he places himself upon a level with the irrational beasts, 
no longer thinkinff of a future judgment and a retribution. 

It is true that the doctrine of Jesus had calmly diffused itself like- 
wise among the Romans, and had certainly saved many from the 
ffeneral ruin. The Emperor Constaatine himself even, who removed 
tihie seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, made it, in the 
year 311, the established religion of his empire; and, indeed, from 
that time, Roman affairs took for a period a more favourable turn, 
but the improvement was not fundamental. The Romans during 
the dominion of vice had lost the higher moral power of the soul, 
in which alone the divine word can take deep root; the former sin- 
fulness became intermixed with the modem doctrines, and thus, as 
pure spring water when flowing into a morass, becomes as bad as the 
sta^ant pool itself, so did the admixture of the ancient wickedness 
witti the new light of Christian virtue destroy completely all bene- 
ficial results. ' 

In this condition of the world it is easy to understand, that the at- 
tacks of the Qerman nations upon &e Roman empire must, neces^ 
sarily, have become daily more successful, and it also explains how 
they were urged by an irreidstible natural impulse to oveipower such 
miserable neighbours, by whom they themselves had been first at- 
tacked, and who, notwithstanding their enervation and corruption, 
considered themselves a nobler race than the unpolished Germans, 
whom they called barbarians. And thus in nature also it may be 
observed as a rule, that where there is a vacuum, the active, agitated 
powers of air and water forthwith strive to break in. 

THE HUNN8. 79 



The Hmms— CkmuneDoement of the Great Migration, 376— Irraption of the Western 
Gothfl, Vandals, Snevi, Burgundians, and other tribes, into the Western Roman 
Em^e— Alaric— Attila, God's Scourge, 451-*The lUl of the Boman Empire in 
the West, 476. 

Abotjt the year 376, when the Emperor Valens reigned in Con- 
stantinople, and the western empire was imder the dominion of his 
nephew, the youthM Ghratian, a new tribe, ahnost imknown and 
exceedingly savage, broke forth from Asia. Thejr were not of Ger- 
man bat or Mongolian origin, and were called Hunns. Terror and 
dread preceded them, and those who had seen them described them 
in the following terms* : " The tribe called Hunns surpass every degree 
of savageneas. They have firm-set limbs and thick necks, and uieir 
whole figure is so mis-shapen and broad, that they might be consi- 
dered as two-legced monsters, or as posts that have been roughly hewn 
to sup^rt the balustrades of bridges. And as, immediately^ after 
their buth, deep incisions are made in the cheeks of their cmldren, 
so that the growth of hair may be hindered by cicatrising the 
wounds, they remain beardless and most hateful to behold, even 
to ihe most advanced period of Ufe. In addition to their iU- 
iavoured and repulsive shajpes they are so savage that they neither 
need fire, nor cook their victuals; but the roots of wild plants and 
the half raw flesh of the first good animal they meet with, and which 
they place beneath them upon the backs of their horses and thus ride 
it somewhat tender, is their whole sustenance. They enter houses 
only when they are forced by the most extreme necessity; they 
avoid them as the separated ^ves of life, but wandering through 
moontaina and vallejrs, they learn to endure, from their infancy, 
frost, hunger, and tmrst. xhey clothe themselves with a linen ^r- 
ment or in furs, consisting of the skins of mice sewn together; they 
cover thdr heads with overhanging cape, and their legs with the 
ddns of goats. Their rough and clumsy boots prevent them from 
walking freely, and, thereiore, they cannot fight on foot; but are 
thnost grown, as it were, to their horses, which are durable, but, in 
keeping with their masters, as characteristically u^ly. All their 
boBineas is transacted upon horseback, and thus this people buy 
and sell, eat and drink; and, leaning upon the neck of his swiiit 
tmmal, the rider sinks into a deep sleep, even to llie very phantasma 
of dreams; and if a council is to be held upon serious matters, it is 
conducted in this same manner. 

"They commence battle with a terrific howl; with the rapidity 
cf lightning they advance and purposely disperse themselves m the 

* Amok Uait^elL, zxi, 2] I>oidaiik» 34. 


same moment; return rapidly again, hover about in irregular array, 
destroying heedlessly whatever they meet with here and there; and 
from their extraordinary speed, almost before they are observed^ they 
are already engaged in storming the wall, or plundering the camp of 
the enemy. At a distance they fight with javelins, whose points are 
furnished with polished bones, prepared with extraordinary skill; but 
in close combat with the sabre, whilst the enemy parries the thrust, 
they cast a noose over him and carry him off. 

'^ Agriculture is not practised among them, and none touch the 
plough, for all roam about without a dwelling, without a home, 
without laws and fixed customs, always wanderers; the women 
dwell in waggons, where they weave their coarse garments and 
bring up their children. If the question be put to them, whence 
they come, none can return an answer; for they are begot at one 
place, bom at another, and brought up again elsewhere. Adherence 
to contracts they know not, and like msensible animak, they scarcely 
know aught of justice or injustice, but they precipitate themselves 
with all the impetuosity of their desires upon an object, and they 
waver at every newly raised hope or prospect; nay, they are 8o 
changeable and irritable, that even sometimes in the same ^y with- 
out the least offence, they fall out with their alUes, and again without 
anyjpersuasion, they return and become friends with them again." 

This liffhtly-equipped and uncontrollable race, burning with a 
fearful and determin^ desire of booty from strangers, broke forth 
from the sea of Asov, whither they were driven much earUer irom 
their ancient pastures on the fix>ntiers of China, and fell first upon 
the Alaniy thought by some to be an Asiatic tribe, by others again 
considered to be a branch of the Goths ; but it is probably a coUec- 
tive name, by which the Romans signify the tribes eastward of the 
Goths on the Wdgg and the Don, who may possibly have been of 
different races. Ine Hunns are said to have sacrinced their first 
European prisoners to the manes of their ancient princes. This im- 
mense swarm then rushed onwards upon the Goths. Hermanrich, 
a brave old warrior, upwards of a hundred yeara of age, and still suf- 
fering from a severe wound received in battle, when he saw he 
could not resist the Hunns, would not survive his formerly acquired 
fame, and therefore, in despair, killed himself. His people were 
obliged to subject themselves to the power of these savages, and 
the Thervingians considering resistance useless, quitted their ancient 
seats, and sent messengers to the Emperor V alens, at Constan- 
tinople, with a petition: *' that if he would give them land and pas- 
turage beyond the Danube, they would be the defenders of the 
frontiers." As mediator for the Thervingians, it is very probable, 
that much was effected by the Gothic Bishop Ulphilas, who, in a 
persecution made against the Christians by the pagan Gothic princes, 
nad, some time previously together with several Gothic Christians, 
taken refuge, and been granted an asylum on Roman ground, at 
the fopt of the Hoemus. This pious and patriotic prelate had, in- 


deed, duimg a space of forty years, been contmually occupied in 
working for the benefit of his people. The emperor received them 
kindly. They were not pursued by the Himns, who now followed 
pastuxBge, hunting, and pillage, for more than fifty years in the 
oteppes and forests of the present southern Russia, JPoland, and 
Hunrary, by which means they came into firequent intercourse with 
the Romans, whom they often served in war ; and humanized by 
this communication with the latter and the Germans, much of the 
imcouthness in their manners was removed. 

Tlie new seat of the Western Goths in Maesia became very soon 
too narrow for them; and as their herds did not supply them with 
sufficient support, they begged permission to barter for their necessary 
wants. The Roman rulers, however, Lupicinus and Maximus, toot 
sndi shameful advantage of their necessities, that for a loaf and 
about ten pounds of miserable meat (frequently the flesh of dogs), 
ibey demanded a slave in return. The majority of their herds were 
consumed, their slaves gone, and famine induced many to give up 
even their children for bread. While the people suffered from these 

Erievances, Fridigem, the Gothic prince, was mvited as a euest by 
upicinus to Marcianopolis. He was a vaUant youth, fuU of the 
heroic courage of his ancestors; and on this occasion many young 
men, his brethren in arms and other friends, accompanied him. 
Whilst he was eating, the cries of his followers outside rose suddenly 
upon his ear, for the Romans had &llen upon them and were murdering 
them. With his eyes sparkling with vengeance, and his sword in 
hand, he sprang up, and rushing out, saved his friends, and hastened 
away with them.* The Goths, embittered at the treachery of the 
Romans, broke up, defeated, Lupicinus, and traversed the nearest 
provinces with fire and sword; and firom the walls of Constantinople 
were seen the flames of the villages and country-seats which thbj 
had Hghted. 

The Emperor Yalens advanced against Fridigem with an army; 
the assistance which his nephew, Grratian, was bringing to his aid from 
the west, he would not wait for, in order to retain alone the honour 
of victory; and he precipitately ventured a battle near Adrianople. 
It was severely contested; but the Gothic infantry repulsed, at last, 
the Roman cavalry^and then the lesions. The em{>eror fled wounded ; 
his horse falling, he had scarcely time to save himself in a neigh- 
bouring peasant's hut The Goths, far from thinking that the Ro- 
man emperor was concealed beneath a thatched roof, set fire to this 
as well as other huts; and Yalens found his death in this miserable 
manner in the year 378. 

In this pitiable state the empire was once more warded from its 
hH by the v^rous and prudent Emperor Theodosius, a Spaniard 
hy birth. He contrived to weaken the Goths by divisions, and 
made Fridigem's successor, Athanaric, conclude a peace. He pro- 

* AnmL MaioelL, xzzL 5, and Jordanii, 26, 


mised the Goths a conaderable supplj of proYifiionfl^ and they, in 
letum, lent him 40,000 men as auzdiaries. 

This emperor died in the year 395, and his two sons, Hono* 
lius and Arcadius, divided the empire between them; Arcadius 
took his seat at Constantinople, Honorius in Italy, and the first divi- 
sion was called the eastern^ and the second the toettem empire. 

Hie sons did not resemble the ikther; too indolent to undertake 
ihe government themselves, they allowed their chancellors, the 
Gaul, Rufifdus^ and the Vandal, Siilic/iOy to role. Rufinios, who was 
chancellor in Constandnople, corrupt and selfish, thought by war 
and daring adventures to exalt himself and increase his power; 
accordingly he excited the Goths under Alaric to make an irruptioa. 
The presents promised them by Theodosius were not deliverea, and 
Alaiic devastated Thracia throughout ; and Stilicho advanced against 
him, but was driven back by the jealous Rufinius, who was mur^ 
dereid by the embittered army. Upon this, Alaric turned against 
Greece, then quite defenceless, which he robbed of its last treasures 
and dories. Suddenly, Stilicho attacked and pressed hard u{>oii 
the &oths; but Arcadius ordered him to retire, negotiated with 
Alaric, and made him general of Slyria, that is— gave it up to him 
in 396. The Goths broke up from here in the year 402, and 
advanced across the Alps. Stilicho, nevertheless, once more sue* 
ceeded, by a determined resistance, in forcing his danserous enemy 
to retire beyond the boundair line of moimtams. And in the same 
manner he saved Italy in the year 405 firom the attack of a large 
mixed army of German tribes, which, under Radagaisns, endea- 
voured to oreak across the Alps from a di£ferent side, and were 
perhaps in alliance with Alaric The history of these limes is very 
confused, and it is therefore not clear if that body was destroyed 
near Foesulae, as some historians relate, or whether Stilicho was 
enabled to remove them by treaty, and direct them to GauL 
But it appears that Stilicho also pursued ambitious projects; for lie 
had combined with Alaric to make an attack upon the eastern 
empire, but was accused of treachery by his enemies, and by com- 
mand of the Emperor Honorius, his own son-in-law, he was assas- 
sinated in the year 408. As soon as Alaric heard of the death of 
Stilicho, he once more advanced against Italy, pressed through the 
passes of the Alps, crossed the Fo, and went direct to Rome; he left 
the emperor in Ravenna, for he despised this weak prince. In Rome 
all was terror and confusion; for since 600 years the Romans had 
seen no enemy before, nor during 800 years had they beheld an 
enemy within their walls, thence the city was called the eternal 
city. They, nevertheless, once more gave voice to their ancient 
haughtiness, and thus addressed Alaric:* ^' Tlie Roman people aie 
numerous and strong, and by thm constant practice in arms are so 
bold and courageous that they have no diead of war." But AJaiic 
- - - ' . 


only laughed aloud at this, and replied: '* Thickly standing grass is 
much easier mowed than thin." The ambassadors then asked the 
conditionB of peace. He demanded all the gold and silver, together 
with the whole of the rich plate contained in tne city, and all the slaves 
of German origin. On which they asked, ^' What, will you then leave 
us?^ ic Your souls T' said he. Thus insolently spoke a man, born 
among a barbaric tribe, upon the island of Pence (at the mouth of 
the Danube) to that city which, for centuries, had ruled the habit- 
able earth, and through the gates and streets of which the proudest 
heroes had marched in triumph, crowned with victories gained over 
foreign nations, and loaded with booty from Europe, Asia, and 

At this moment, certain prophets from Tuscany, who were in thQ 
dty, offered themselves to drive Alaric back m>m Rome by pro- 
phetic threats, if, in return, they mi^ht be allowed to institute feasts 
and SBcrifices to their ancient divinities. Doubtless, when he heard 
of such weak and futile proposals being made, the valorous Alaric 
treated the matter with mented contempt and derision. 

When now the Romans discovered no hopes of being rescued, 
they were obliged to fulfil the wishes of their enemy, and promise 
him 5000 pounds of gold and 30,000 of silver, besides a multi- 
plicity of rare and costly articles. But so much gold and silver was 
not to be found in the possession of the inhabitants. They were, 
therefore, obliged to have recourse to the ornaments and decorations 
of the ancient temples; and it is said that, among the statues of their 
divinities, that of Valour was also melted down — ^it thus appearing as 
if aQ that still remained in Rome of tM&t noble quality in man was 
now annihilated for ever. 

The Emperor Honorius refused to enter into any negotiation 
whatever with Alaric, who, therefore, returned next year to Rome, 
and appointed another emperor, of the name of Attains, as rival to 
Hononus; but as, afler one year's trial, he also proved himself to be 
wholly worthless, Alaric reduced him again to the dust from which 
he haa raised him, and the dty of Rome, which held out against 
him, he now took by storm* This happened on the 23d of August, 
in the year 410. Ine Groths entered the imperial palace and plun- 
dered It, as well as the houses of the nobles; but they so far mode- 
lated their ire, that they did not bum the city. It was a happy 
thing for the Romans thiat the Goths were Christians; for those who 
fled to the churches were not molested or touched; nay, a singular 
occurrence, which is related to us, displays very evidently the pious 
feeling of these people. A warrior, who entered the house of a fe- 
male, found gold and silver vessels there. She told him that they 
belonged to the holy apostle St. Peter, and were given to her 
m charge for the church; he might, therefore, act as he thought 
vropest. The soldier communicated this to Alaric, who sent imme- 
diately thither, and caused the sacred vessels to be carried with so- 
leomity back to the church. The Romans, animated by such gene- 

o 2 


Tous tolerance, accompanied the train, chanting solemn hymns; and 
the Gothic warriors, astonished at the unexpected spectacle, ceased 
to plunder, joined the procession themselves, and thus was the fuiy 
of war transformed into genial peace by mere Christian emotion. 

Alaric remained only a few days in Rome ; he then advanced towards 
lower Italy, indulging his ima^nation with magnificent plans, for, 
as it appears, he purposed embarKing for the beautiful island of Sicily, 
and thence to proceed to Africa, in order to conquer Hkewise this 
granary of Italy. But death overtook hitn at Cosenza, in his 34th 
year. The entire Westro-Gotliic nation bewailed his loss, and pre- 
pared a remarkable and memorable grave for him. They dug ano- 
ther bed for the river Busento, conducting the water through it, 
and then buried their king, fully armed and equipped, in the original 
bed of the river, accompanied oy his war-horse and the trophies of 
his victories. They then conducted the course of the river back 
again, in order that neither Roman covetousness nor revenge should 
desecrate or disturb the great Alaric, in the grave where he reposed 
from his victories. Upon his death, the Goths elected for their king 
the most handsome of their young nobles, the youth Athaulf, or 
Adolphusy the brother-in-law of Alaric. He advanced from Lower 
Italy to Rome, where he obliged the Emperor Honorius to give 
him his own sister, Placidia, as consort; ne then quitted Italy, 
passed with his nation into Gaul and Spain, and he and his suc- 
cessor, fValUa^ were the founders of the extensive Westro-Gothic 
kingdom, which comprised the south of France as far as the Loire, 
and speedily embraced Spain also, the metropolis of which was 
Toulouse, on the river Gtironne. In the year 419, the Romans for- 
mally delivered Soutliem Gaul up to Wallia. The commencement 
of the fifth century was therefore in the highest degree turbulent, 
from the violent movements of the various nations. Almost all 
the German tribes sent out hordes of troops upon excursions of 
pillage or conquest; or they themselves, pressed forward by the 
superior attacks of other tribes, broke up their abode, that they 
might, arms in hand, seek elsewhere for new dwellings. The 
weak alone, who could or would not quit their paternal dwelling, 
remained behind, and became mingled with and lost amidst the 
immediately succeeding race. Besides the Goths, the Vandals 
and Alans were pressed forward by the Hunns, and advanced from 
the east gradually towards the west. In their advance, the Bur- 
gundians, who likewise had quitted their dwelling-place on the 
Vistula and had arrived as far as the Upper Danube, with a portion 
of the Suevi, namely, the Quadi, and other tribes ioined them. 
It was probably a swarm of these mixed tribes which, under Ra- 
dagaisus, or Radigast, made the attack upon Italy in the year 405 , 
and which by great good fortune was warded off by Stilicho. 
This isolated horde disappears, as well as the name of its leader, 
without leaving a trace in history. But in their attacks upon Graul 
and Spain the beforementioned tribes were more fortunate. Stilicho 


had opened to them the road thither, by withdrawing the l^ons from 
the Khine and firom Gaul for the defence of Italy. They now 
desolated the country from Strasburg to Amiens. Treves was 
four times plundered, Mentz and Worms destroyed, the inhabitants 
of Strasburg, Spires, Rheims, and other cities driven forth as 
slaves. After these swarms had at last been driven back into the 
south of France by the Romans and the Franks, they, in the 
year 408, were caUea into Spain by the rebellious Roman governor, 
Gervadus. Hitherto this country had been spared during these 
fearful times, but its turn came at last. The Vandab, Alani, and 
Suevi, crossed the Pyrenees, and speedily conquered the greatest 
part of the country. A portion of the Alani remained in Gaul, and 
are found later on the side of the Romans, in the great battle with 
Attila; after which they disappear. The Burgundians also remained 
nnder their king, Ghmmkar (Gunther), and first founded their king- 
dom in Alsace, where it speedily extended towards the Rhone 
and Soane into Switzerland, and from thence it spread to Savoy. 
In northern Graul, however, the Franks appear about this time to 
have made themselves masters, so that ail that lies towards the 
north, fiom Boulogne on one side, to Cologne on the other, was 
subject to their sway. Before the middle of that century Treves 
abo, which they had four times conquered, remained in their power. 
The Vandals, who with the Alani had taken their seat in the 
south of Spain, passed thence in the year 420, under their king, 
Geiseiich or Genserich, upon the invitation of tlie discontented 
Roman ffovemor, Boniiacius, over into Africa, and conquering there 
the TrhoTe of the northern coast, founded for a century a flourish- 
ing kingdom, the chief cily of which was Carthage. What a mi- 
gTatifin, from the very shores of the Baltic, where these tribes first 
appear in histoiy, even to the borders of the Aincan deserts ! Gei- 
serich, one of tne ereat men of his age, but of a savage disposition, 
ruled for 50 years, firom 428 — 477. After him the kingdom of the 
Vandals iell, in the luxuriant climate of the country, produced by 
internal diatnrbanoes, and by the enervation of this otherwise powerfiu 
tribe. The empeior of Constantinople, Justinian, took advantage of 
theb reduced statci <^d in the year 653 sent his general, Belisarius, 
to Africa with an army, who overcame them in eight months. Their 
last king, Gelimer, was led by him in chains on his triumphant entry 

into Constantinople- 

The Snevi remained in Spain, but became, by degrees, more and 
more pressed upon by the Westro-Goths under Wallia and his succes- 
8orB, being soon limited to the north-western portion of Spain and 
Portugal; and at last, in the year 585, they were entirely united 
irith &e Westro-Gothic kingdom. 

In the middle of the fiftti century, 449, the Angeli, Saxons and 
Futi, passed over into England, and there founded new dynasties. 
Under the Emperor Honorius, and immediately after him, the Ro- 
mans had entirely quitted Britain. The Britons had, however, be- 


come 80 enervated under their sway, that after the withdrawal of the 
Roman garrisons, they felt themselves incompetent to protect their 
freedom. Their neighbours in the Scotch Highlands, the warlike 
Picto and Scots, breaking forth from their mountains with undi- 
minished power, pressed hard upon them; and they found no otha 
alternative but to call strangers once more to their defence. Their 
choice fell upon the tribes of Saxon origin who inhabited the coasts 
of the North Sea, and whose valour they had often had occasion to 
know when these fell in with their piratic squadrons on the coasts of 
Britain. Two Saxon brothers, Hengist and Horst, or Horsa, heroes 
of a noble race, who derived their origin from Wodan, accepted the 
invitation of the British king, Vorti^em, and with only three shipSy 
which bore 1600 warriors, they landed. Their valour supplied 
the place of numbers ; they beat the Picts near Stamford, and speedily 
afterwards large troops of their countrymen followed them oyer &om 
the continent. The Britons then would willingly have been freed 
of their new guests; they, however, preferred remaining, subjected 
the whole of England as far as Wales, and founded the well-lmown 
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms or heptarchy, of which Kent, established by 
Hengist, formed the first. 

In a large village, seated in a plain between the Danube and the 
Theiss, in Hungary, and surrounded by pallisades, which had origi- 
nated in a camp, tnere stood, in the midst of a spacious court, an 
extensive wooden mansion, adorned with many passages and haUs, 
and which formed the dwelling of Attila or Etzel, Idng of the Hunns. 
He had imited his people — ^untd then dispersed under many leaders— 
imder his own dominion; and in effecting this had not hesitated 
even to slay his own brother, Bleda. All the tribes of the Hunns 
and their subjected nations, distributed from the Wolga to Hungary, 
reverenced his command. He was lord of the Gepidiy Longobar(u, 
Avari, Ostrogoths, and many nations in the south of Germany; they, 
however, retained their b^iguages, their customs, and th^ laws, 
and were ruled by their ovm princes; so that they were to be con- 
sidered more as alUes than subjects; and besides the language of the 
Hunns, that of the Gk>ths, or German, vras spoken at the court of 

He himself was small of stature, had a large head, deeplynaeated 
eyes, which he proudly cast around, a broad diest, much animation, 
and a manner and bearing which thoroughly di^layed the ruler. 
His most favourite name, indeed, was God^eseu, the scourge of 
God, for the punishment of the world. 

But as it may be assumed generally with regard to rulers, the 
founders of mighty empires, that they have not alone to thank 
their conquering swords for their acquired power, so also on his part 
King Attila gave tmdoubted proo& that for governing he poes^sed 
capacities more mild and intellectual than the mere rude courage 
and skill of a warrior. For if he was terrible towards his enemies, 
and in his vn^^th severe and exterminating, still, on the other hand^ 


he waa ge&ile and kind to those he took under his protection. And 
if in war he himself always led on his people to battle, he was never- 
thelesBy in times of peace, always to be found seated at their head be- 
fore his palace gates, performing the office of mediator and judge be- 
tween each and all who came to him, without distinction. 

He loved splendour around him, but he himself lived in a simple 
and plain style, as if his greatness did not require this foil. The trap- 
pings of his horse were unadorned and but little costly; at his ban- 
Suets, gold and silver vessels were placed before his guests, whilst he 
lone had those of wood; he ate but little meat, despising, according 
to the custom of his nation, even bread. After each dish was served, 
the cup or wassail-bowl was handed roimd, and his health and pros- 
perity drank ; whilst minstiels sang heroic songs in praise of his valor- 
ous oeeds. The court jester then followed with his wit and Rin, and 
hilarity and merriment ruled at the board of the royal host; but he 
alone never intermitted his strict seriousness. He remained through- 
out grave and thoughtful; and it was only when his youngest son, 
Imack, entered the hall and approached nim, that his features re- 
lazed into a smile, and whom he greeted wiljbi affection; for of this 
son it had been prophesied, that he alone would be the means of pre- 
serving the succession of the race of Attila.* 

This powerful ruler, of whom it has been said that, when with 
his mysterious sword — which had been found by a shepherd in the 
fiteppes of Icythia, and was considered to be the swoid of the god 
of war — ^he struck the earth, a hundred nations trembled, and even 
Bome and Constantinople shook to their foimdations, arose with his 
anny in the year 451, and turned his course towards the west. He 
advanced witn TOO^OCK) men, all under him as chief ruler, and every 
tribe under its particular prince; and although the princes them- 
selves trembled before him, his whole army had but one soul, and 
his nod alone directed every movement. His path was called de- 
struction; for what could not fly, or was not destroyed, as he pro- 
gressed in his road, was forced to follow in his train. 

He advanced through Austria and the Allemannic country, across 
the Rhine, overcame the Burgundian King Gundikar (Giinther), 
even to the destruction of his wnole tribe; conquered and plimdered 
the cities of Strasburg, Spire, Worms, Mentz, Treves, and others, 
and vowed not to stop imtlL he reached the ocean itself. The military 
portion of the countries he traversed joined him either spontaneously 
or by fcvoe, and the gigantic horde increased at every step like an 

But the Bomans and several German nations had now armed 
themselves against the great danger which threatened the west; for it 
was now to be decided whether Europe should be Grerman or Mon- 

* This description of Attilaand hU court is banded down to ns by an eye-witness, 
the sophist, Prumf, who attended in the snite of an embassy from the Smperor 
Sieodosiiis n. St the court of Atti]a:Byzant. hist script! Jardanis also describea 
AttilacapL jantvr— Both leUte also about the sword of Mars. 


golian, whether Gennan races were to found new kingdoms upon 
the tottering ruins of the Roman Empire or the great King of the 
Hunns. The Romans had at this time once again a good leader of 
the name of -^tius, who had formerly, when hanished by Valen- 
tinian, sought refuge at the court of Attila; he collected an army in 
Gaul, and appUed for aid to the Westro-Gothic king, Theodoric or 
Dieterich, who dwelt in Toulouse, and whose kingdom also was in 
great danger. To him Dieterich replied, although, in earlier times, 
-£tius had been his enemy: " A just war has never appeared to fall 
too heavy upon any king of the Westro-Goths; and never has any 
such king been known to fear when it depended upon a glorious deed. 
Even thus think the nobles of my kingdom also; and the entiire 
nation of the Westro-Goths will, at the call, cheerfully seize their 
well-tried arms, at all times victorious." The Burgundians had also 
promised assistance, besides Sangipan, the Alanian, who ruled upon 
the Loire; a portion of the Franks also, together with the city of 
Paris itself, and even a branch of the Saxons, which had colonised, 
it is unknown at what period, at the mouths of the Loire, or perhaps 
had landed there direct from a maritime expedition — all these united 
toother for the same puipose. 

In the broad plain of France, through which the Mame flows, 
and which was called by the ancients the Catalaunian Plain, where 
the city of Chalons now lies, there rises near Mury, in the vicinity 
of Troyes, a moderately high hill, which command the district. It 
was here tibat the army of the West met the forces of the Hunns, 
and a severe battle was fought. It may be called a battle of the 
nations, for the majority of the European nations stood here opposed 
to each other. The len; wing of the Roman army was commanded 
by JEtius, the ri^ht by Theodoric; between them they posted 
King Sangipan, who was the least to be trusted. The hordes of the 
Hunns, on me opposite side, appeared innumerable; one wing was 
commanded by Arderic, the King of the Gepidi; the others by 
Theudimer, Widemir, and Walamir, theprinces of the Ostro-Goth& 
Attila was in the centre of the whole. The multitude of petty kings 
obeyed his least nod, and they fulfilled his commands in silence and 
terror; he alone, the chief of all these kings, thought and acted for 
all. When the battle was about to begin, he summoned his leaders 
before him, and said, ^^ It does not become me to say common-place 
things to you, or for you to listen to such. Be men; attack, break 
through, cast all down; despise the Roman array and their shields. 
Fall upon the Western Goths and Alani, in whom lies the strength 
of the enemy. If you must die, you will die even when you nee. 
Direct your eyes to me, for I shall go first; he who does not follow 
—shall be a corpse !" 

Both armies strove to obtain the hill; the battle was very furious, 
and there was terrible slaughter. The Hunns soon broke through 
the centre, where the Romans were stationed, and whom they put 
to flight; and soon afterwards the Westro-Grothsgave way before the 


Ostro-Goths. Whilst the Westro-Gothic king was addressing his 
people he fell, but gloriously, for his death inflamed his nation to 
revenge it; and his son Thorismund leading them on, put the 
enemy to flight, and thus decided the battle. Upon the approach 
of night, Attila was obliged to retire within his camp of waggons. 
As he did not know but the enemy might pursue him, he caused 
innumerable saddles and wooden shields to oe piled up, in case of 
necessatj to set fire to them and die in the flames; at the same time, 
to terrify ihe enemy, he commanded a noise to be made all night 
with arms, drums, trumpets, and songs; but they did not at- 
tack him. Amongst the piled heaps of the slain, they sought the 
body of the Westro-Gothic king, and celebrated his funeral by a 
procession, amidst laments and warlike instruments sounding, taking 
with them the spoils of the Hunns in their veiypresence, who how- 
ever did not venture to interrupt the ceremony. Thorismund followed 
the body of his &ther, and wished to return and renew the attack; 
bat he was dissuaded from this by ^tius, who advised him to re- 
tain to his kingdom, that his brotner might not take first possession 
of the crov^n. He was anxious not to destroy the power of the 
Hunns completely, in order, perhaps, to be enabled to use it subse- 
quently against the Goths. 

In the following year, Attila, who was thus enabled to recross the 
Rhine unpursued, made a second incursion into Italy, and destroyed 
in a temble manner Aquileja, Milan,^ and other cities. Rome 
itself was alone saved from a similar fate by the supplications of 
Pope Leo, and the rich ransom he offered to him. Want of sup- 
plies and disease amongst his army, forced him to retreat across the 
Alps; he nevertheless threatened to return a^in, and had al- 
ready prepared another expedition, but amidst nis preparations he 
died, in the year 453. He was mourned over, and buried according 
to tihie customs of his people. The Hunns slashed their faces with 
wounds, and shaved away their hair, and upon a broad plain, be- 
neath a silken tent, his body lay in state. About it coursed the 
cavahy, singing his deeds as they galloped around, and vaunting 
the good fortune, that the great Attila, auer immortal victories, in 
the most dorious moment of his nation's history., and without pain, 
had do&ea his life, and had transferred himself to the spirits of the 
ancient heroes. In the night he was laid in a golden coffin; this 
ms placed in a silver one, which was inclosed in an iron one; the 
caparison of his horses, his arms, and costly ornaments being buried 
with him. After the ceremony, the workmen were immediately 
slaaghtered on his grave, that none of them might betray where the 
hero of the Hunns reposedf 

* Sadfafaii xdatn that, at this place, Attila met with a picture, in which were re- 
FCKoted fome Scythian men kneeling hefbre the Roman emperor; and that there, 
<9po^ to it, be had hia own flgore painted, seated npon the unperial throne, and 
at hb feet tlie Roman emperors, throwing down before bun bags of gold. 

t The name of Attila, or Etael, waa afterwards mentioned in the German legends; 


Ab soon as the terror of his name no longer bound the nations 
together, thej separated; many refused obemence; and sStesr his 
first-bom son, Ellak, had fallen in a great battle against Arderic, 
the king of the Gepidi, the whole power of the Hunns disappeared, 
and they dispersed farther towards the east. The head of one of 
the sons oi Attila — such are the changes in human fate — ^was 
shortly afterwards seen held up for display, at one of the race- 
courses in Constantinople ! Arderic occupied the country of the 
Lower Danube, and the Ostro-Goths took possession of Hungary, 
towards Vienna. The remaining portion of the German tribes who 
bad been subject to the power of the Hunns, no doubt likewise took 
advantage of this moment of renewed independence, to return to 
their old, or to take possession of new dweUing-places. This period 
may therefore be considered as decisive of the form of the imme- 
diate future, imtil the entire destruction of the Roman power in 
Italy produced new revolutions for a portion of Europe. 

The Western Roman Empire now consisting of Italy alone, de- 
clined more and more towards its utter extinqtion. The wretched 
emperor, Valentinian HI., murdered with his own hand ^tius, 
who had been the support of the empire, and who had once more 
saved it in the Catalaunian plains, against Attila, because he had 
been made to suspect him. Valentinian himself was slain* at the in- 
stigation of Petronius Maximus, who now became emperor, and 
forced Eudocia, the widow of the murdered monarch, to marry 
him. She however, out of revenge, invited the Vandal king, 
Geiserich, from Africa. He came, conquered in 455 the city of 
Rome, plundered and devastated it in a dreadful manner for the 
space ot fourteen days, as if, by him. Fate retaliated upon the 
Romans, for their terrible destruction of Carthage six hundred 
years before. He then embaiked again for A&ica, with a fleet of 
many ships, loaded with costly booty and prisoners of all classes, 
who were sold as slaves. 

After Valentinian, nine sovereigns, in the short space of twenty 
years, bore the degraded title of Emperor of Rome. At last, in 
the year 476, Odoacer, a prince of Scjric descent, commander of 
an allied horde of Scyri, Herulians, Rugians, and Turcilin^, a man 
equally distinguishea for his mental powers and phymcai strength, 
thrust the last of those shadowy emperors, Romulus MomyUus 
or Augustulus, ^jei a boy, from the throne, and called himself 
King of Italy. The tender age of the yoimg emperor when he 
laid aside the purple robes, the crown and arms, and came and 
deposited them in the camp, caused him to be spared, and he was 
sent by Odoacer to a castle in Campania. The above-named tribes, 
who doubtlessly belonged to the Gothic confederation, had gra- 
dually advanced from their earlier dwellings on the Baltic towards 

he waa there grouped with Hermaoarich and the aubseqiient Theodoric (Dieterich, of 
Berne). He doei not, however, appear there aa an enemj to the Qennana, but as a 
mightjrTaliant mter in the eait of Qennanjr. 


the soath, until thOT found a dwelling on the Danube and the 
fiontiera of Italy, ana there aerved the Romans frequently for pay. 
This small band, therefore, at last extinguished the Koman empire, 
in the year 476, and in the 1230th year since the foundation oi the 

About this period the following was the manner in which the 
oountries of the western empire were divided among foreign tribes, 
^n»ilt of the great migration wHch had taken place a centuiy 

Italy was under the dominion of Odoacer, and his kingdom ex- 
tended itself towards the north, across the Alps, as tar as the 
Danube. In Hungary the Ostro-Goths were powerful, and the 
Longobardi had long before advanced £rom their seats upon the Elbe, 
and fixed themselves to the north of the Danube, towards the Theiss. 
In Bavaria was formed by degrees, (without history giving a de- 
tailed account of it) from remnants of the Bugi, HeruU, Scyn, Tur- 
ciUngi, and certainly from Suevic tribes, particularly the Marcomanni 
«— the nation of Boiparians under the royal race of me Agilolfi. The 
name more particularly indicates the descent from the Marcomanni, 
coming from Bohemia, inasmuch as the more ancient name of this 
country, Boja or Bojos, has been transferred to Bojoheim, Baiheim, 
or Beiieim. The Marcomanni, who had previous^ wandered back 
to this country, after the Danube districts had become free, fixed 
diemselves in Franconia and Bavaria, and called themselves Bojoari 
or Bajovari. 

The AUemaTiTii dwelt in the eastern part of Switzerland, in 
Swabia, and down both banks of the Rhine, as far as the Lahn and 
Cologne. On the left bank of the Bhine they were afterwardfl 
called Alsatians. The name of Suevi also appears about this time 
among them, and has preserved itself to this day in the name of the 
country: Swabia. 

In we centre of Grermany, from the present Harz mountains to 
Franconia, the powerful Thuringians held their sway, whose earlier 
history is very obscure. They nrst appear noticed about the middle 
of the fifth century, without our author mentioning their origin or 
earlier state. 

In Lower Saxony and Westphalia the Saxons retained their 
ancient seats and constitution, and close to them on the North Sea 
were the Fried. 

On the Lower Rhine, on the Maas and the Scheldt, as far as the 
Netherlands, and in the north of France, dwelt the branches of the 
Franks; the most considerable of which were the Salians, in the 
Netherlands, and the Ripuarians, dwelling along the coasts of the 

Cloee to them, on the Seine, a Roman governor, of the name of 
Syagrius, maintained his power for ten years longer, until the year 
4b6, when already there was no longer an emperor in Rome. The 
north-western pomt of France, the present britany, had already 


been occupied much earlier by fugitives from Britain, whd bad fled 
before the Ficts, and then formed under the name of Axmoricae an 
alliance of free cities. 

South-eastern France, Savoy and western Switzerland belonged 
now to the Burgimdians. Their chief cities were Geneva, Be- 
san^on, Lyons, and Vienne. The Burgundians were certainly 
the mildest of the conquering tribes of this period, being early 
attached to Christianity, cultivation, and art; and to them that 

E)rtion of France is mdebted for its many remains of ancient 
oman works of art. In Switzerland the French language still 
marks its ancient boundaries against the AUemanni, for the Bur- 

Smdians mixed more with the Komans, and adopted much of their 

ooutn-westem France, from the Loire and Rhone to the Pyra* 
nees, as well as a great portion of Spain, was subject to the Western 
Goths, but north-western Spain to the Suevi. 

The north-western coast of Africa was Vandalian. In Britain the 
Angeli and Saxons by degrees retained their power and augmented 
it more and more. 

The east and north-eastern portion of Germany was left oom- 
paratively bare by the advance of the tribes towaios the south and 
west, and Slavonic tribes minted increasingly thither, who had 
been seated on those boundaries &om time immemorial, and who 
had also perhaps been partly subject to the Grermans. Those foreign 
branches now gained the supenoritj, and the remains of the Gr^ 
mans who would not qmt their original dwelling-place, became sub- 
ject to, and were dispersed amongst them. 





Thk historical writers of this period form hat a very liimted dass, and are of yery 
QDeqnal estimatioii. What th^ relate of the earlier times is mostly founded oo tra* 
ditkm, and can scazody he pla^ in ooignnction with what has heen tonished hy 
the Boman anthors; still, in reference to the history of their own period, and those 
mnnediately preceding, they are nevertheless of high importance: 

K For the "History of the Franks,** we may consider as a principal writer, Gre- 
gory, bishK^ of Tours (Gregorius Tnronensb), who died in the year 595. He calls 
his hook an ecdesiastical history, hut therein he describes generally the acts and pro- 
ceedings of the Franks, in ten books, until the jirear 591. His language, charac- 
teristic of his time, is undrilized, his description conftised and intenrupted by 
Iqrendaiy wonders, going, however, veiy deeply into the details, and in reference to 
subsequent years, as the record of a contemporary, it is very exact, and thus renders 
him eqoslly instructive; he likewise possesses the merit of being honest and a lover 
of truth. He has been styled the Herodotus of this period. 

Fiedegar, about the year 650, made firom Gregory^ work a short abridgment, in- 
tcnpersed with fables, (** Historia Francorum Epitomata,") which proceeds as far as 
the year 584, and then continues the history in a ** Chronicum" until 641. This *' Chro- 
nicmn'* was agun taken up and resumed by three other men, but with certain chasms, 
until 768; very meagre and without connection, but still important because the 
vriters were chiefly witnesses of the events described. The ** Gresta regum Fran- 
conun," are, likewise, in part . extracted from Gregory, whose description they 
cootiDue to the year 720, very briefly and not without many inaccuiacies. 

With these and later are, the ** Annals," short sketches which were made annually 
is the mooasteries, dT the most important events, and thus, at least, in part originate 
from eye-witnesses. They were afterwards copied and communicated from the one 
monastery to the other, dten augmented there, then subsequently various portions 
conected and prepared, and thus they acquired greater extent and value. The most 
important are those which bear the simple title "Annalis Laurissenses,** from a 
TOfioastery in the Upper Rhine province, which go on firom 741 to 788, and were 
continued by Eginhardt, firom 778 to 829. They have been partially published in 
the older ooBecUons, but more completely given in the '* Monxunaita Germanie His- 

tona," ocrilected by Pertz. 

2. For the ** History of the Goths" are to be mentioned: 

a Ou^bdbncr, invested with high ofitoes of state, under Odoaoer, Theodoric, and 
t^ir successors, and who died in the year 565, in the convent Vivarosa; he wrote a 
^toiy of the Goths, which, unfortunately, was lost. There have, however, been 
preserved his ** XH Libri Variarum,'* a very important work, because it contains 
edicts, instructions, and documents, which were written in the names of the kings; 
lanied, degant, but vain and verbose. 

hi The monk Jardtmis (thus he is called, and not Jomandes, in the more ancient 
^onmients, and by himsen likewise): a Goth, living about the middle of the sixth 
Qstniy, has brought into an abridgment— de rebus Geticis — ^the lost history of 
Cissiodoms, but has disfigured it by the interlineationof every thing he knew or heard 
of besides. Still, although without judgment and historical knowledge, his book is of 
the hig^hest value, inasmuch as for many events that is nearly our only source. It 
otoids to the year 540. 

c: The parallel of ** ProooiHi Gaesarensis Vandalica et Grothica** may in the details 
opbin much, because the Greek proceeds upon very difi*erent views to those of the 
votero writers. 

d. iMin*, Bishop of Seville, (Udoms HispakusisX who died in 636, wrote a short 
^■tey of the GoUuH Vandals, and Soevians, to the year 628, but which again ex* 


|dajxu nothing about the earlier history of these nitionfl, and refers more properij to 

3. The chief writer on the history of the Longobardi is Paul Duuxmua, the son at 
Wamefried, one of the first men of his age, liying at the courts of Dedderina wad 
Charlemagne, and who died as a monk on Mount Cassino in the year 799. In his 
" De Qestis Langobardorom Ubri yi." he describes the deeds of his nation with a great 

gredilection for tradition; the oommenoement is quite unhistorical, but subsequently 
e becomes more carefiil and exact, and presents us with detailed infonnatjon ex- 
tremely TBluaUe. 

4. For German history likewise are of great importanoe the IKographies of the 
Boman Pontilft, at least from the eighth century, composed by oontemporaiy writers; 
they continue to the beginning of the ninth century. 

5. Extremely important also are the letters of distinguished men which ha^e been 
handed down to us from that period, especially those of Saint Boni&oe, as well as the 
biographies of him and other holy men (Vitae Sanctorum) which often present the 
most nithftd picture of their times, and haye pr e s er ve d fbr ua the most TalnaUe 

6. and lastly; for oar research into the relations of life, the manner8,ciistomai, and 
institutions, are Tery important, the ** Laws of the German nations or tribes,** who 
belonged to the Franoonian empire: the Salians, Bipuarians, Allemanniana, Bor- 
gundSms, and Bavarians, and later, the Saxons and Thuringians. Bat there remains 
much therein which is yefy obscure, inasmudi as they contain prindpaUy only the 
penal law of these people, and cannot therefore jrield us the desired infermatioii re- 
specting the other relations, are not regulated according to general principles, f>nntain 
nothing of the oonstitution of the empire beyond what refers to the administaratioa of 
the law, and present eren in that portion what to our eye appears very fragmentary. 




doyis, King of the Franks, 482-511— Theodoric, somamed IHeterich of Berne, 488- 
526 — The Longobardi in Italy, 568 — Changes in the Customs and Institutiona of 
the Germans — ^The Languages-Constitution— Feudal System — ^Laws — ^Pastimes- 
Christianity in G^many- The Grand Chamberlains — Charles Martel against the 
Arabs, 732 — ^Pepin the Little — ^Tbe Carloyingians. 

DuBiKG the great movements of the tribes, which we hare just 
related, the Fianks had not, like the Goths, Burgundians, and other 
nations, migrated from their dwellings to settle themselves elsewhere, 
but they remained in their own seat, and firom thence conquered only 
that portion of Gaul which lies to the north of the Forest of Ar- 
dennes. And this forest also sheltered them from being drawn into the 
great stream of migration. Their diviaon also into several branches, 
each of which had its own king or prince, prevented them from 
making extensive and general expeditions. 

But their time came. About tne year 482, Clovis, or as we should 
say Lewis, the son of Gilderich, became Prince of the Salian Franks ; 
and he soon prepared himself to execute the plans of his bold and 
comprehensive mind, for the bent of his ardent spirit was to make 
war and conquest. Glovis belongs to that class of rulers in the his- 
tory of the world, who think all ways good that lead to dominion. 


He has suQied the celebrity of bis military &me by tbe most iea* 
picable want of faith to his rektives and aUies. He at first concluded 
with the princes of the Franks^ who were his equals, and for the 
majority his relatives, alliances of war against other tribes, and after 
he had conquered them by their assistance and had become powerful, 
he then also despatched those very friends out of his way by poison, 
the dagger, and treachery. By this means he became eventually 
King of all ihe Franks. 

Ot his foreign enemies, he first attacked, when only twenty, the 
Soman governor Syagrius, whom we mentioned above, effectually 
best him at Soissons (Suessiones), and occupied the country as far 
as the Loire. Syagrius, who fled to the Western Goths, was obliged 
to be delivered up to Clovis and was executed. This commencement 
of the conquests of Clovis took place in the year 486, ten years after 
Romtdus Augustulus was deposed. 

He then advanced with nis army against the Allemanni, who in 
the meantime had fallen upon the country of the Ripuarian Franks, 
for both nations having their boundaries upon the river Lahn, had 
been enemies for years. They met in the year 496, near Zulpich, 
in the district of Juliers, and fought bitterly against each other, and 
the victory already inclined to the side of the Allemanni, when in the 
heat of the battle, his soul excited by anxiety, Clovis fell upon his 
knees and vowed to become a Christian ; and as victory now absolutely 
turned on his side, he caused himself and three thousand of his Franks 
to be baptized in Rheims, at the subsequent Easter festival, by the 
Bishop Remigius. Thiswas the commencement of the introduction of 
the Christian fiuth amon^ the Franks, and Clovis was henceforward 
called the ddest son of the church and the most Christian kin^. His 
consort Clotilda, the daughter of a Burgundian prince, had long 
wished to convert him to the better faith by the force of gentle per- 
soaaon ; lie, however, had always despised it until the necessity of the 
battle overpowered Imn, and it was indeed very evident both in him 
umI in the Franks in general, that their conversion was a work of 
mere compulsion. For Clovis murdered his relatives after as well 
as brfarey and subdued one Christian nation after the other, whilst the 
Fmnks for several centuries bore the diaracter of being the most 
treacherous of all the Grerman nations. 

After the Allemanni were reduced and the kingdom of the Franks 
had ^xread itself along the Rhine to Switzerland, and after the Bur- 
gondians were obliged to promise tribute, Clovis bent his eyes to* 
wards the kingdom of the West Groths^ who possessed the most beau- 
tiful portion of France in the south. Thus although he had only 
shortly before had a conference with theb king, Alaric, and had sworn 
friendship to him, he yet determined to attack him as an enemy. 

The wise Ostro-Gothic king, Theodoric, who previoudy to this had 
tranded his dominion in Italy, counselled the unruly Olovis, whose 
^ter, Andofleda, was his consort, in the most urgent manner from 
his unjust expedition against Alaric^ and reminded him that peace 



and union became Christian nations. But Cloiris, who knew only 
the language of the sword and of rude force, gave no ear to him; he 
attacked the Westro-Gothic kingdom; and, in the jear 507, in a 
plain of the river Vienne, near Vouffle or Vironne, fought and won 
a great battle in which Alaric himself fell, transpierced oy the spear 
of Glovis, who took possession of the chief cities of his country, and 
would, no doubt, have destroyed the whole kingdom, had not the 
great Theodoric stepped between and driven him back with a strong 
hand. He was, therefore, obliged to content himself with the coun- 
try between the Loire and the Garonne. 

Clovis did not live long after this, but died at Paris, in the ^ear 
511, in the forty-third year of his age, and his empire was divided 
between his four sons. 

His successors to the throne of the Franks, who are called the 
Merovingians, were in general worthy of their founder. It appeared 
as if vice and tyranny, unheard of cruelty, and savage revenge were 
hereditary in this family, and as if a curse had from the b^inning 
been poured over them. In the space of forty years six Merovingian 
kings were destroyed by poison or the sword; and the intrigues and 
revengeful passions of malicious women form an important feature 
in these horrid scenes. It cannot, therefore, suit the purport of this 
history to penetrate further into the details of these events, which 
are equally as unnourishing to the mind, as they are unfruitful in re- 
gard to the knowledge it is so desirable to obtain from the great en- 
tirety of our history. The nation of the Franks, under such princes, 
could not possibly be raised from its state of moral rudeness and 
degradation, but necessarily became plunged more deeply in vice. 
Their power, however, continued to extend itself more and more. 
They by decrees subjected the Burgundians, and in Grermany the 
powerful nation of the Thuringians, and the dukes of Bavaria sought 
their protection. About the middle of the sixth century all the 
German nations from the frontiers of the Saxons to the Alps allied 
themselves with the kingdom of the Franks; Franks, Thuringians, 
AUemans or Swabians, and Bavarians. The Saxons alone and the 
Friesi still remained independent in their north-western dwellings. 

When, after king Attila's death, the kingdom of the Hunns fell 
asunder, the Ostro-Goths, as has been already mentioned, became 
again free, and dwelt in Hungary and the neighbouring coimtries of 
the Danube. They had frequent disputes with the emperor, in Con- 
stantinople, and upon one of these occasions Theodoric or Dietericfa, 
a son of one of their princes, was sent as hostage to that city, and 
there he saw, as had Marbodius and Arminius formerly, in Kome, 
the institutions of a great empire. He remained there ten years, 
and was instructed in the Grecian arts and sciences, so that no Grer- 
man prince of his time equalled him in accomplishments. After the 
death of his father, Theodemir, and of his uncles, he became sole 
king of the Ostro-Goths, and now resolved, Uke other rulers, to found 
for nis people a large and beautiful kingdom, for they longed to be 


led to more desirable lands tKan the wastes near the Sau and the 
Danube. The Emperor of Constantinople, Zeno, who considered 
himself now as the sole inheritor of the entire ancient empire of 
the Romans, upon this presented him with the land of Italy as the 
reward for services rendered, and instead of his promised subsidies 
in monej. Italy was still under the rule of Odoacer, but his king- 
d(mi was not properly to be considered German, because the Heru- 
lians and Rugians formed but a small portion of his people. 

Theodoric broke up with his nation in the year 488, pressed 
through the passes of Italy and encountered Odoacer near Aquileja 
and Verona. But the Italians fought with little zeal for their king, 
and he was both times obliged to fly. King Theodoric, from thni 
last battle, was styled in legendaiy songs and oallads, in a multitude 
of which his fame was recorded, the great hero, J)ieterick of Berne 
(which signifies Verona). Immediately after this, Odoacer was a 
third time defeated near the Adda, after his own city, Rome, had 
diut its gates a^nst him, and for three years he was besieged in 
Ravenna until, m the year 493, he was at last forced to yield, and 
his lands fell into the hands of Theodoric, by whom he was killed^ 
His kingdom had lasted seventeen years. Theodoric became lord of 
Italy, and ruler over the countries beyond the Alps to the Danube, 
and in the wars of the Franks and Westro-Goths he made himself 
master of the provinces as far as the Rhdne, an extensive and beau- 
tiful kingdom, which might have existed to the present day if his 
successors had equalled hmi in wisdom and virtue. His chief cities 
were Ravenna and Verona. 

He himself reigned more than thirty years, and was not only a 
kind and mild master to his Goths, but also a gentle ruler over his 
Roman subjects and all who dwelt in Italy; so much so, that this 
country had not enjoyed so happy a time for many centuries asunder 
him, the foreign prince. Agriculture and trade again flourished. 
Art and science found in him a protector, and ancient cities, lying 
in niina, were rebuilt. Italy enjoyed under, and subsequent to his 
reign, for a period of forty years, continued peace, and was so dili- 
gently cultivated, that it not only grew sufficient grain for its own 
ccmsamption, but could even export it to Gaid, whilst formerly^ 
under the Roman emperors, it was always necessary to procure a 
supply from Sicily and A&icaL 

Jois wisdom and justice T$isl^ him above all the kings of his time. 
He stepped among them like the father of a large family and an in- 
sdtutor of peace; and the most distant tribes had recourse to his 
counsel, and honoured him with presents. To the other kings of 
German origin, with almost all of whom he had allied himself by 
marriage, he wrote as a father thus: " You all possess proofs of my 
eood-wilL Tou are young heroes, and it is my duty to counsel you. 
loox disorder and irregularities grieve me; it is not a matter ot in- 
£firence to me to behold how you allow yourselves to be go- 
Temed by your passions, for the passions of kings are the ruin of 


nations; wliilst, on tlie ooKitnirj, your friendfihip and unity together 
are, as it were, tlie veins througn which the wishes of nations flow 
into each other." 

He placed such pxindples before their ejes, and showed tho^by 
that his mind had formed the conception of a great alliance, founded 
upon justice and wisdom, between all the Christian nations of 
German origin, who had fized their seat in Europe. An alEanoe, 
such as reason has depicted before tiie eyes of all ages as a anblime 
picture; and as it haiB displayed itself, from time to time, by the 
mouths of enlightened men, so that justice and order, and especially 
the spirit of Cnristian imity, should predominate, and hatred aiMl 
thirst after prey be reined in-— evils which, alas I through the want 
of such an alliance, have ravaged Europe from one end to the other. 
Had Theodc»nc been enabled to form such a noble unicm, he would 
have founded more of that which is truly grand than the ancient 
Romans, over whose possessions he had now become ruler, and whose 
empire he was anxious to restore, not hj the rude force of anns, but 
in the form of a peaceful allianoe of nations. But as the mild force 
of truth and justice always finds its enemy in the selfishness of those 
who only seek their own advantage and the indulgence of their pas- 
sions, Ineodoric, consequently, experienced that the world was not 
then yet rife enough for the fruction of his great ideas; for whilst he 
preached peace wim earnestness and love, Clovis, the Frank, razed 
war with his sword, despising his doctrine, and searing only to bnng 
a multitude of tribes under nis dominion. 

The great Theodoric died in the year 526. His monarchy had 
now no duration; for his son, Athalmc, was but just ten yeais old, 
and died shortly after his fiither. The nobles of his kingdom were 
no longer unanimous, but elevated and deposed several kings 
after each other. The Roman subjects, also, could not forget that 
their rulers were Goths, and attached to the Arian faith. Thejf 
wished themselves again imder the Greek emperors, who dwelt in 
Constantinople, and were members of the orthodox church, al« 
though the dominion of these emperors had become lamentably bad, 
and was in a ruinous state. It was then that the Emperor Justinian^ 
who was one of the best of the series, took advantage of this dis- 
content, and sent his general, Belisarius, and after him Natses, into 
Italy, to subject this country again to his rule. A long and severe 
war arose, conducted by the Goths with their usual valour, but witii- 
out success, and which destroyed the country, and almost depopu- 
lated Rome by several sieges^ so that no trace was left of its ancient 

The Goths raised themselves once more, after four of their aove* 
reigns had been destroyed, under their king, Totilas, who was worthy 
of ruling the dominions of Theodoric ; but as ne also, after he had fought 
with fame for eleven years, was killed in the year 5£2« in a battle 
a^nst Narses. and ten months afterwards, his successor, Tejas, fell like- 
wise in the three days' desperate battle near Cuma, the Gothic kingdom 


0unk into such a roinotu state thattwenly-flevenrean after the death 
of Theodonc, and in the year 55S, the Ostro-Uoths were not only 
yanqnished, but also ahnoet entirely annihikted. A few only escaped 
over the Alps to seek an asylum among other German nations. 

Fifteen years after the &11 of the Ostro-Goths, another Taliant 
Creiman nation, theLongohardi, who had taken possession of the earUer 
dwelling-places of the former on the Danube, executed an act of re* 
taliation, justly timed for them, on the Grreeks. The Greek general^ 
Narses, upon udlinff under the displeasure of the Emperor Justiniaui 
had lumsdif called forward their king, Albom or Albwin, who 
had already oyercome the Gepidi, and now ruled in Hungary, Aus* 
tna, Gairuthia, and even in a portion of Bavaria. This king pos- 
sessed that heroic courage which ^ves itself deeply in the hearts 
of naticms. Not only ms own nation, but those of the Saxons and 
Bavarians sang his praise for centuries softer his death. 

On the second day of April, in the year 568, the King Alboni 
broke up from Hungary with aU his Longobardian men, their 
women and children, accompanied by 20,000 Saxons. The country 
ihey hitherto poasessed was left by them to their allies, the Avan, 
who were fomid still there by Chi^lemagne subsequently. It was a 
moniing ftill of splendour when, from the heights of one of the ad- 
Tanced mountains of the Alps, which was afterwards called the 
King's Mountain, the astonished strangm cast their eyes down upon 
their new and beautiftd coimtry. Wherever All)oiii passed he 
showed his veneiation for the church, and sought, on eveiy occa- 
sion, the aflfection of the people. By the conquest of Pavia, at the 
confluence of the Ticino and the Po, he founded his dominion in 
Upper Italy, which, to the present day, has been called Lombardy, 
from the Longobardi, and he made it the chief city of those districts. 
In Lower Italy, also, this nation conquered beaumul tracts of land, 
and founded the principality Benevento, which comprises the greatest 
portion of the present kingdom of Naples. But Rome and Kavenua 
remained in the hands of the Greexs, who gained the Franks to 
their side by presents, in order that they might, by their means, pre- 
vent the Longobardi from taldng possession of the whole of Italy, 
and consolidate it into one powenul and strong kingdom. And, im- 
fortunately for the country, in this object they succeeded^ From 
that period to this day, Italy has remained disunited, and has endured 
the severe &te of a mvided country, internally rent. Strangers have, 
from time immemorial, contested for its possession, and its ground 
has been deluged with streams of native and foreign blood. 

The LongotModi cultivated their newly-acquired country- so ad* 
miiably, that the melancholy traces of former devastation became 
daily leas discernible. The king also procured his supplies from the 
pioduce of his j)osses8ions; and from one farm to another he was re- 
gular in his visits of inspection ; living, in fact, with all the simplicity 
€( a patriarch, combined with the dignity of a great military leader. 
Their free-men, as among the ancient Romans, laboured of their 



own accord to turn the desert and waste tracts into arable land, thus 
distinguishing themselves from other Grerman nations. Acricultare 
flourisned particularly around monasteries, whose chronicles, sajs a 
ffreat German writer, contain the less dazzling but more satisfactory 
history, of the way in which they almost overcame, or, at least, 
assisted Nature, and how cheerful gardens and smiling fields covered 
the ruins of ancient Italy. 

The majority of German nations, at the time of the great migra- 
tion, had come into new coimtries wholly different from their for* 
mer settlements, and there found inhabitants of a different race, with 
other languages, manners, and laws. They, consequently, could not 
tliemselves continue to exist stationary in their new country upon the 
same footing that they had been used to in their former homes ; and it 
is important that we should place before our view, in its broad outline, 
the great difference presented between the tribes which had wandered 
forth as conquerors, and those which had remained behind adhering 
to their ancient simple customs. 

The German conquerors found in Gaul, Spain, Italj, and Eng- 
land, inhabitants consisting of Romans and natives mixed. They 
left them, it is true, after they had appropriated to themselves a por- 
tion of their possessions, in their dwelling-places, but generally as an 
ignoble and degenerate race. By the laws of the Franks, the fine 
for killing a Roman or a Gaul was only the half, and in some cases 
but one fourth, of what it was for a free Frank. Afterwards, not- 
withstanding their original separation and distinctive character, it 
could not well be otherwise but that the Germans by demes became 
mixed with the natives, and that many of the latter, who were su- 
perior to the Germans in knowledge, as well as in cunning and re- 
finement, speedily obtained, under weak kings, distinguished offices, 
and now ruled tneir former lords. They even obtained, as services 
were paid only with land, grants of possession as feudal tenures, and 
became thereby partakers m the feudal rights. Romans and Gauls 
were seen to rank among the counts, dukes, and grand stewards, and 
thence arose, although perhaps but slowly, a mixture of nations, and 
accordingly of manners, languages, and forms of ideas. 

The ancient vigorous nature of those Germans who came into 
warm and luxurious countries, became enervated by effeminacy and 
sensuality. Thus the Vandals in Afiica, and the Ostro-Goms in 
Italy, in the course of twenty years after their arrival, had become so 
much transformed and degenerated, that they submitted to enemies 
who previously could scarcely bear their powerful glance. The 
tribes, however, which remained in Germany, continued as firm and 
vigorous as ever; and if afterwards, they became by degrees, more 
mud, like their climate, their forests were nevertheless cleared so 
gradually, that the change in the people took place without too 
rapid, and thereby injurious a transition. 

But the greatest change that happened to the migrated German 
branches, was in reference to their language. For, as in the con- 
quered countries, the Roman or Latin bmguage was chiefly spoken, 


and as this was at that time much more cultivated than the German, 
it could not be supplanted by the latter; but there arose a mixture 
of bothf whereby tney became changed, and the indigenous lan- 
guage of the country before the Roman period, often formed a third 
component of this medley. Consequently in France, Spain, Por- 
togaiy Itidy, and England, a language is spoken formed by a mixture 
with the Koman, which may perhaps fall more gently upon the ear 
than the Grerman, which yet retains much of its former roughness 
from the ancient forests; whilst, however, the former tongue is neither 
so energetic, so hearty, and honest, nor so rich in peculiar words. The 
Giennan language remains ever fresh and florid, and is open to con- 
tinual improvement in beauty and richness. It is a language en- 
tirely original, the roots of which ramify into the aboriginal founda- 
tions of eerman national idiosyncrasy, and draws its nourishment 
from the rich fountain of life with which nature has endowed the 
nation; it may be compared to the living plant in a fruitful soil, and 
the labour bestowed upon it, is as that of the gardener who watches 
and carefully attends to the development of the favourite tree. But 
Ae lanraage formed by a composition of many others, is but the 
work of man, like the artificial web which the hand of man pre- 
pares from the plants of the field. It is true this may be beautifully 
and richly worked ; but it is then and for all times finished, and 
poa sc fl o es no further internal power of life and growth. 

The constitution of the conquering German nations necessarily 
became also essentially changed. At home, in their original cx>ndi- 
tion, the power of royalty in peace was bat insignificant. The 
dders or counts, as the appointed judges in every ^u or district, 
r^;o]ated the usual affairs, adjudged disputes accordmg to custom, 
and upon more important and general affairs the national assembly 
was convened. But in war the power of the leader surpassed every 
thing else, and justly so, as it then depended upon prompt decisions. 
The king or prince was the unlimited lord, and the most faithful 
of his smte or Grefolge ranked next to him. When such a war had 
speedily passed away, the prince again retired into the insignificance 
of a state of peace; but in the many years of the incursions, amidst 
constant warfore, his power became firmly established. The whole 
nation became an army, and it accustomed itself to the obedience ne- 
oessaiy in war. The institutions of peace lost much of their force, and 
as in their incursive movements they had no coimtry they could call 
their own, their whole confidence and attachment were necessarily 
concentrated in their leader, who led them to victory and pillage, 
and the forcible possession of a new country. He was the safeguard 
and hope of the nation ; he stood to them in lieu of home and father- 
land, and those who stood next to him, as his suite, were the most 

To these latter, when conquest was completed, he apportioned 
first their share of booty and of land, as in ancient times he had 
given them only their horse, arms, and entertainment. But without 


doubt he took to himself the moat deszable and oonsidemble ahaie, 
and particularly the lands of the conquered or sUin princes; his 
power being thus founded by his possesBions and strone adherenta 
The Goths, the Buigundians, ana the Lon^baidi, who came as 
migrating nations, with their wives and children, must certainly 
have exacted firom the conquered a considerable portion of their posn 
sesnons. The Ostro-Goths in Italy demanded one-third of the land, 
whilst the Westro-Goths and Burgundians required firom the Grauls as 
much as two-thirds. The Franks, on the contrary, made their con* 
quests in excursions from home, not only as a nation, but as the 
suite of their prince. Their numbers were not great, thence they 
did not require to take from the Grauls and R<Hnana any portion of 
their land, although, according to their ideas of the rights of con- 
querors, they considered the whole as their property; and in many 
cases, no doubt, they seized much of priyate property, so that the 
chance of the Gauls became often much more &tal, inasmuch as they 
were more immediately exposed to the wild and arbitrary demand^ 
made.* But altogether, they still found in what the Romans had 
j)reTiously possessed as national property y a sufficiency of land; be- 
sides, in those portions of Gttul which they took from the Westro- 
Goths, the majority of those land possessions fell to ihem which 
the latter, upon the conquest, had appropriated to themaelyes; for 
many of them were killed in the war, and many likevnse quitted 
the country and advanced into Spain, that they might not become 
slayes to the Franks. The whole mass of the conquered state- 
lands above mentioned (according to the Roman expression Ji8cus)y, 
formed now, after the king had received his chief portion, the 
common property of the conquerors. It was thence, so long as they 
held together as an army, that their support was furnished ; af- 
terwards, when they began to domicile themselves amox^ their 
new subjects, and, according to the original disposition of German 
nations, desired to obtain entire possession, they received this 
from the mass of fiscal lands, as a reward {benejficmm) for the mili- 
tary services rendered; and for which they remained obli^ted to 
afford further military duty at the command of the king, holding, 
however, possession of the land merely as a fief, or loan {leken), 
during their lives. 

From this commencement was developed the entire constitution, 
afterwards so important and influential, and which was called the 
feudal state. In the following centuries it obtained, by degrees, its 
ftdl perfection, particularly when it extended itself backwards to 
the ancient seats of the Franks, and the other German nations sub- 
jected to them. The exertions to obtain fiefs, and procure appoint- 
ment for the services connected therewith under the sovereign, be- 
came increasingly predominant, for thereby was attained infliience 
and power; and to gain this many gave up their fireedom. The 

• «< KecvUiismattiie coram lis andetot,** says Gngoiy of Toiiri. 


took tbe same of liege salijects {JideUs\ and people 
{kmiet) of the pziiice, or vassals (vosn), whence TasuUi is derived. 
The feadal lord was called senior (whence seigneurs), or dominus. 
The name antnutio (confidential) signified the Ueffe subject, 
leader <^a troop, or arimanie of the escort or train, in which quality 
he had to take a particular oath of fidelity, and then stood trusts 
iomhika. Thoee fiege subjects who stood in close service to the 
pnnce were called administrators. 

The great vassab could distribute from their own land fiefs to 
other poorer individuals, who engaged in their service, and thus 
became after, or arri^re vassals. Iney were obliged, with these their 
fiddtt to follow the heerhann of the piince, whilst the common free* 
nan, who had only an alodial or free inheritance (in contradistino- 
^om to feuibim*\ was only obliged to attend in great national wars, 
and for which tne heerbann, in the ancient German sense, was pro* 
ckimed. Not^withstanding which, the feudatories soon began to 
look down upon the fineeman as upon one much their inferior, and to 
consider themselves on the other hand, as the nobility of the nation 
—even when they were not descended from the origmal nobility of the 
nation, for Grauls were likewise enabled to receive fiefs ; nay, already, 
under Qovia, these were elevated beyond the Franks in honours, 
for they more easily yielded obedience than the latter, and were 
thus more agreeable to the king. The law also made a distinction 
piejudicial to the free possessor. The liege subjects (in truste domi- 
Moa)had a higher amount of fioie-money allowed them; it amounted 
to three-fourths of that of the common freeman; and even when the 
lieee subject was merely of Roman descent,the sum was higher than that 
of Uie iiee Frank, it bemg 300 soHdis, whilst that of the latter was 200. 

The feods originally were not hereditary; the lord could with- 
dair, and invest others with them; but in tne course of time, and 
puticularly under weak governments, the vassals found means, in 
one m^ or the other, to obtain hereditary possession, and make it 
nearly independent; the royal power being thus again restricted, 
by those whom it had previously elevated for its support. The ma- 
jority of vassals were also powerful by their inherited property; 
ted who would deprive the powerfiil man or his son of his feod? 
ftoperty and feoos became mixed, because he who inherited the 
pioperty inherited also the feod. 

The power of the kings was, therefore^ not unlimited, and the 
>prient freedom not annihilated, inasmuch as the nation still parti- 
cipated in the decision of important national affidrs. Regular assem- 
Wi€8 were still held, and by the Franks at first, in March, afterwards 
^er Pepin the Little, in May, whence the names of March and May 
pittns. But the greatest difference fix)m ancient times was that these 
•■wnUics consisted no longer of the majority of all the freemen, but 
duefly of feudatories, so that the nobility gave the decision. 

* '^wfKdfaubamf liowever, does not present itadf before the second century. 


The laws of the German nations of this age show that their state 
was still very rude. The punishment of death was scarcely awarded 
to any crime except treason and infidelity. The German regarded 
personal liberty so highly, that he woiud not yield to any other 
the right to his life. Murder might be compounded for with money 
or goods, and the compensation obtainea by relatives, who, ac- 
cor£n^ to the ancient right of the retribution of blood, could 
have demanded the blood of the offender. Accordingly, the in- 
jured family possessed the right of feud or hostility against the 
other, until satisfaction was given. Expiation for the non-exerdsed 
jGunily revenge was, therefore, the original signification of the retri- 
bution or fine-money. The punishment of death, however, would 
not have withheld these passionate nations, who instantly gnsped 
the sword, and had but little fear of death, from the momentary sa- 
tisfaction of revenge; the pecuniary penalty was, on the contrary, 
very high for that period, and therefore more felt, and he who could 
not pay it lost his freedom, and became the slave of the offended 
party. Many poor freemen thus lost their liberty because their 
possessions were esteemed of but httle value, as for instance, an ox 
by the Salic laws was worth two gold shillings, a cow but one, a stal- 
lion six, and a mare three ; therefore, an opprobrious word cost a con- 
siderable sum, for he who called another a liar was obliged to give 
him six shillings or two oxen; he who called him knave or scoun- 
drel as much as fifteen shillings. The extent of the punishment 
certainly conduced to their frequently making arrangements, in order 
that they might not, through the excitement of a passionate moment, 
involve each other in deep misfortune. As each went armed and could 
always defend himself, the murder of a man, according to the Alle- 
mannic law, was only half as heavily punished as that of a woman, 
who was defenceless. But theft was more abhorred than murder, 
because a coward may also attack defenceless objects. According to 
the Saxon law, he who had stolen a horse was punished with death, 
but every murder, even that of a noble, money could buy off. The 
highest fines inflicted were, first, that of a Bavarian duke, of 960 
shillings, and secondly, that of a bishop of 900 shillings. There 
was no fine fixed for a king, for his person was considered sacred and 
unassailable. With the Franks the nne-money of the royal Antrustio, 
if he was a Frank, was equal to that of a count, 600 shillings; of the 
fieeman 200, and the Zitus 100. For the Romans it was fixed at 
half these amounts, in the same proportion : so that the Romanus 
conviva regis paid 300 shiUings, the Romanus possessor 100, but the 
Romantts tributarius instead of 50 paid only 46. Among the other 
nations, according to their laws, there were many variations. Every 
corporeal wound was very precisely fixed by a money rate; the mu- 
tilation of the hand for instance cost 100 shillings, of a thumb 45 ; the 
nose the same, the fore finger 35, and any of ihe others 15 shillings- 
Judgment was held under the open firmament, in an enclosed 
place, called Mallum (Malstatte, or Malberg), and before an elevated 


shield. The judges chosen under the presidency of the count 
were, in all cases, for freemen also freemen themselves, and called 
in judicial language RacMmburgiy or boni homines. These were 
nominated by counts, usually to the number of seven. In cases 
where the Kachimbuigi could not find judgment, the so-called 
Sagibarones who were appointed as especial councillors or magis- 
trates, stepped in to decide. The regular tribunal which met at cer- 
tain fixed periods, was called mallum legitimum. It was attended 
by the entire population, and the whole community gave its de- 
eiaon and not the judges (Rachimburgi), who merely found the 
judgment. In the especial or summoned tribunals, however, at 
which only few assisted besides the counts and judges, the latter 
decided at once; the others present did not act as a community, but 
only attended as audience, and as such had nothing to say. 

X o arrive at the guilt or innocence of an accused person appeared 
to the Grermans, with their acute feeling for the sacredness of justice, 
to be one of the most indispensable duties. When, therefore, the 
truth was not to be obtained by means of witnesses, they sought 
higher aid, by having recourse to the so-called judgments of God. 
The innocence of the accused party seemed confimed if they re- 
mained unharmed, upon being exposed to the dangers which, in the 
ordinary course of thmgs, are injurious; if, for instance, upon e^spos- 
ing the hand or foot to boiling water or a glowing iron, it remamed 
unmarked, or if in sixigle combat he conquered his opponent. They 
had confidence that God would not allow innocence to fall, and no 
doubt in the angle combat, at least, the consciousness of innocence 
would frequently give the victory. 

Their chief pleasures were still the chace and war. The former 
they loved so much, and so highly prized all that pertained to it, 
that the Alpm&TiT^i estimated a stolen lime hound at twelve shillings, 
while a horse could be compensated at six, and a cow only at one 
shilling. A common trained hawk was valued at three, and one 
that had taken a stork at six shillings. 

The whole moral and civil condition of the Grerman tribes, in the 
centuries immediately after the great migration, was in certain re- 
spects worse than their ancient siinple state, when they followed the 
immediate impulses of their nature. They were now on the transit firom 
the unconscious life of nature to a consequent progress in civilization, 
and this period of a nation is the worst, because the consciousness of 
moral dignity begins to awaken before the power of self-government 
is present to subdue the active impulses of passion. 

The Goths, Burgundians, Lon^obardians, and Franks, had, as 
has been related, much earlier adopted Clmstianity; in Germany 
proper it made its appearance a couple of centuries later. For al- 
though the Allemanm, Thuringians, and Bavarians, were subject to 
the Franks, the latter did not give themselves much trouble to dis- 
ieminate the holy doctrines amongst them ; although, by such a boon, 
they might have given them a compensation for the loss of liber^. 
It appeared indeed as if they, who nad adopted Christianity in need 

106 cHBisTiAiim nr OERicAirr. 

and in the tumult of battle, sought and desixed only to promulgate it 
"nith the sword. On theother hand, theapoetkawho planted these mild 
doctrines amonff the Grerman forests, came from distant coimtties — 
from England, ocotland, and Ireland. The Angli and Sazons, who 
had landed there as heathens, were slowlj converted to Christianity, 
not by force, but by instruction and conviction. And it, therefore, 
struck so deep a root in their minds, that vpeedjlj a multitude of 
inspired and Christian men travelled from those countries as teachera 
of the heathens. They had not to expect either rich abbeys or much 
honour and reward among them, but, on the contrary, ridicule, con- 
teinpt, want, and the most extreme danger. 

Such men were the holy Columban and Ghillus, in ihe sixth cen- 
tury; Eilian, Emmeran, Kupertus, and WiDibrod, in the seventh 
ana eighth centuries; and, at last, the Englishman TVinefired, who 
afterwards received the honourable name oi Bonifacius (the Benefi- 
cent), He laboured from the year 718 to 755 with inexhaustible 
courage for Christianity. In Franconia, Thuringia, on the Rhine, and 
amonff the Saxons and Friesi, his zeal planted the divine doctrines; 
and wnilst he introduced and established the Christian worship, so 
humanizing to the manners, he collected the communities into villages, 
and this laid a foundation for towns. For the strengthening of the 
new fidth, he fixed bishoprics here and there, or r^ulated moee al- 
ready existing, as in Salzburg, Passau, Freiaingen, Ratisbonne, Wurtz- 
bur^, Eichstadt, and Erfurt ; the celebrated abbey Fulda was founded 
by his follower Sturm, and at Ohrdruf he planted a school for fu- 
ture teachers, who, according to the rule ot their institution, not 
only zealously propagated Christianity, but also the arts of apicul- 
ture and horticulture. 

In addition to all this, he did not hesitate, although at great -p&C" 
sonal danger, to contend against the rude disposition ofthe peojd.e with 
the force of his fidth. He overturned their altars, and cut down their 
sacated trees, beneath which they sacrificed to thdir gods. One among 
these, at Geissmar in Hessia, was particularly celebrated; but Boni-* 
ftce himself seized the axe and helped to hew it down. The sur- 
rounding heathens firmly believed tnat the god who dwelt in the 
tree womd speedily come forth with fire, and consume the culprit 
and all his companions. But the tree fell without the fire comings 
and with it dropped their former confidence in iheir cod. 

But Boniface complained even more of the bad Christian priests 
themselves, whom he found among the Franks, than of the savage* 
ness of the heathens. They lived in all kinds of vice, and made no 
conscience of sacrificing to the false gods, as weU as to baptise howso- 
ever was required fix>m them for the money offered for so doing. And 
even the best amonff them took as much delight in arms and the chaoe 
as in the duties of their spiritual office: *' Religion has now been 
prostrated full sixty or seventy years," says he in an epistle to Pope 
Zadharias; ^^ and the Franks for more than eighty years have had 
neither an assembly in council of the church nor an archbishop. The 


Ueliopries axe in the Iiaadfl chiefl^of sieedjlaymen or dinuaal ehuxch* 
men, who perceive profit in nothmg oat temporalities." Thenoe one of 
Ilia chief cares was, that councils should be held by the FrancQnian 
deigy to restore good morals and the ancient chumi discipline, and 
that the der^ £onld participate in the assemblies of tne March 
plains (Martii Campi), that the weal of the church might also be 
there taken into consideiation; and towards this he accomplished 
much, for which he made himself greatly distinguished. 

In the year 746, Boni&ce was made archbishop of Mentz, and as 
soch he stood at the head of the East^Franconian clergy, which he 
tocuatomed to unconditional obedience towards the Roman bishop, 
who now as pope stood incontestedly at the head of the western 
church. Boniface, however, would not remain inactLve and pass his 
later years in quiet, for the convermon of the heathens was now, as 
ibrmerly, still the labour and aim of his life; and at last his zeal was 
rewarded with the martyr's fate. Upon his return to the Frieai, 
in order solemnly to consecrate some newly-baptized Christians, he 
was fidlen upon by a tro(^ of barbarians, who expected to gain 
booty fixxm him. His servants seized their arms to repel the attack; 
he, however, forbade them to shed blood, and was therefore at once 
murdered with all his companions by the furious band. 

The religious foundations, churches, and cloisters which Boniface 
and othere buitt in Germany, became not only the sparks whence 
the light of religion and intellectual cultivation proceeded, but many 
of them formed also the nucleus of new towns and vilWes which, 
by d^rees, arose around them. Not only the bondsmen built their 
hots close to them, but others also sought the protection of their 
waDs, and merchants and traders proceeded thither in the hopes of 
makinff profit from the multitude of strangers who flocked there for 
the sake of worship. The name of the festival, Eirchmesse or 
Cihmdiwake, derived thence its origin. 

The kingdom of the Franks was divided into two ^reat portions, 
Keasdia and Austrasia, or the Western and Eastern kmgdoms; and 
tiie fimner was again frequently divided into several parts. In the 
Western kingdom, the Roman manners and language maintained 
the superiority; but in the East those of the Germans were pr&> 
damiaant. K^th nations^ were frequently at war and discontented 
vith each other. 

In the year 613, Clothaire II. once again united the two divisions 
of the kingdom, but soon afterwards resigned that of Austrasia into 
tke hands of his son IWobert, who, on the death of his father in 
d« jear 628, agun combined the whole together. Under these two 
^oveniments, wnich may be included in the series as the most hapoy, 
ue kingdom became strengthened, and the internal relations, by the 
exertions of Amolph, bishop of Metz, and the great chamb^lain or 
pOBie minister, Pepin of Landen (Grandfiuher of Pepin of Heri»* 
til Were greatly improved, and rendered more perfect and settled. 

The judicial system now assumed mote of the Chxistian character; 


for, according to the original pa^n law, eveij act of murder, with 
the exception of that committed against the king, could be com- 
pounded for with money and land, whereas now it was decreed AaX 
each premeditated murder should be punished with death. The 
clergy likewise were placed upon a more elevated and distinct foot- 
ing, and which, indeed, was extremely necessary and desirable, so 
that ChrisUanity might not again sink and fall into neglect In 
order that the bishops should, as far as possible, consist of the most 
worthy men, the ecclesiastics received, with the co-operation of the 
people, the right of election (clerus cum populo). The jurisdiction 
of the clergy was Ukewise, at the great synod of Paris in 614, esta- 
blished upon a more firm and secure basis; and at the grand con- 
ferences, Its influence became more important, inasmuch as they ap- 
peared there almost alone with the great vassals or higher officers of 
the crown. The ancient assemblies of the people had, under Clovis, 
entirely ceased to exist. 

Dagobert resided chiefly in Paris. We find that under him con- 
tinual wars were carried on between the Franks and Slavi, which 
produced against them a friendly lea^e between the Franks and 
Saxons. Dagobert released the Saxons Irom their tribute of five hun- 
dred cows. 

After the death of Dagobert in 637, the decline of the Merovin- 
gian dynasty commenced anew, and we find seven kings ruled like 
puppets by guardians, acting as prime ministers or mayors of the 
palace, thus producing the complete fall of the race. These mayois 
got the entire sway of the kingdom. Originally, the niajor-domus 
was only steward ; he stood at the head of the royal house and of the 
royal pebple TLeudes), and was leader of the feudal retinue in war, 
next to the kmg. The heerbann of free-men was not imder him. 
But when the retinue obtained, by degrees, the precedence, and be- 
came properly the statCi the heerbann fell into msuse, and the inde- 
pendent freemen becoming reduced in number, the grand stevrardthen 
rose to be eflectually the nrst officer of the kingdom, and under weak 
kings was their ruler. When a war was to be conducted, the grand 
steward placed himself at the head of the troops, and showed him- 
self prepared for warlike feats; in peace also, he exercised the pri- 
vilege of mercy, disposed of offices, distributed vacant sinecures, and 
left to the king merely the honour of his name and that of the crown, 
and the indulgence of his sensuality in the inner apartments of the 
palace. It was only at the March assembly that the king appeared 
personally amidst his people. There he sat publicly upon the seat of 
his ancestors, greeted nis nobles, and was saluted in return by them; 
he received the presents brought by the nation, and handed them over 
to the grand chamberlain or steward standing beside the throne, distri- 
buting, according to his recommendation, the vacant places, and con- 
firming those he had already disposed of. He then moimted his chariot, 
which, according to ancient custom, was drawn by four oxen, drove 
to his palace, and remained there until the foUowing March assembly. 


Sudi was the condition of the great conqueror Clovis's de* 
scendants, before two hundred years had passed since his death. 
About the year 700, the grand steward over the whole kingdom of 
the Franks, Neustna, as well as Austrasia, was Pepin of Heristal 
(near li^e); a yery careful and prudent man, who restored order and 
justice, held the old March assemolies regularly, and won so much the 
love and confidence of the people, by restoring in this manner their 
rights against the encroachments of the hordes, that he was en- 
abled to make the office hereditary to his family. His son, Charles 
Martel, who was grand steward alter him, saved the whole of Chris- 
tianity at this moment from a great impending danger. 

A savage horde had arrived irom the south, and had in a short time 
tiaTersed extensive tracts with fireand sword, and subjected all to their 
dominion. No nation could set limits to them, their arm was irresisti- 
ble, and struck their opponents like lightning. These strangers were 
the Arabs; they came m>m Asia, and they derived their great power 
from the new faith. For he whom they called their prophet, Ma- 
bomet, had announced to them much from the doctrines of Mosee 
and of our Saviour; besides which he promised to this people, who 
were addicted to sensual pleasures beyond every thin^, great re- 
wards and an ever-during bliss in Paradise, if they fought zealously 
for thdr new faith, and extended it over all countries. Mahomet 
Hved about the year 622. The^ had now rapidly conquered several 
lands in Asia and Africa, and m less than a hundred years after the 
death of Mahomet, in the year 711, they had already crossed the 
Straits of Gribraltar to Spam. Roderic, sing of the West Goths, 
who nded in Spain, opposed them near Xeres de la Frontera; he 
strove for his crown, tor the freedom and religion of the West 
Goths; long and severe was the battle. Roderic fought heroically, 
luitil a treacherous count, who called the Arabs across the straits, 
passed over to the enemy. The kin^ then fell, and with him the 
flower of his army. The kingdom of the West Goths was subjected 
to the Arabs, and they soon ruled from the sea to the Pyrenees, so 
tkt only a very small spot to the north-west of Spain, in the moun- 
tains ot Gallicia, remamed a free possession in the hands of the 

After the Arabs had conquered Spain, they cast their eyes upon 
Fiance, and, crossing the Pyrenees, fell upon that country. At the 
suae time they showed themselves below Constantinople with a large 
annj and a fleet: so that they embraced the whole of Europe from 
<a£t to west, determined upon conquering it and extinguishing Chris- 
tianity. And had they obtained the victory on both sides they would 
i^ve advanced still farther, and the two great armies would have met 
imd united in Germany and have completed the work. But Pro- 
vidence had determined otherwise. The city of Constantinople held 
firm against the attack, with its strong walls and Greek fire, which 
^ inhabitants used against the ships of their enemy. But in France 
t% were opposed by the powerful hero Charles Martel, the son of 


Pepin; he was called Martel or the hammer, because bj his bnr?eiy 
he struck his enemies down, as it were, like a hammer. With ka 
Franks he croesed the river Loire to meet the enemy, and came upon 
them between the cities of Tours and Poitiers, where a wide ptain 
spread itself out. The battle here took place on a Saturday in October, 
in the year 732. Close and impassable, and covered with an advanced 
wall of shields, the Franks stood immoveable, and endured their first 
violent attack, for this was always the most furious. The Franks, 
however, then suddenly broke forth, precipitated themselves upon the 
Arabs, repulsed them, and it is said that more than 300,000 fell, to- 
gether with their general, Abderachman, slaughtered by the swords 
of the Franks. "[Diose who remained fled towards southern France, 
whence Charles soon drove them forth, and placed for ever a boundary 
against them on this side. Charles, who, for this deed, was highly 
honoured throughout all countries, died in the year 741. 

His son was called Pepin the Little, or the Short; he was also 
grand steward imtil 752, and ruled the kingdom according to his 
pleasure but with wisdom and justice, whilst king Childeric III., 
satin his palace Uke a shadow, and took not the least care of his 
government When Pepin saw the disposition of the Franks fiivour- 
able to him, he caused an assembly of them to take place in the 
year 751, when it was determined to send an embassy to Rome, 
with this <juestion: ''Is he justly called king who has the royal 
power in his hands, or he who merely bears the name?' To which 
pope Zacharias replied, '' He must also be called king, who possesses 
the royal power." 

The holy Boniface had accustomed the Franks, in certain cases of 
conscience, to apply to the pope for advice as their spiritual father, 
and the papal reply is to be regarded as counsel and opinion, as an 
answer to such a question, but not as a deposal of Idn^ Child^c, by 
virtue of the power existing in the pope. Upon this, the Franks 
assembled agam at Soissons, and took the crown &om Childeric, the 
last of the Merovingians, cut off his long hair, the mark of honour 
with the Prankish kings, and had him removed to a cloister, 
there to end his days; whilst Pepin, the son of Charles Martel, and 
grandson of Pepin of Heristal, was in the year 752 solemnly anointed 
and crowned king of the Franks by the archbishop Boniface, 266 
years after Clevis the Merovingian had, by his victory over Sya- 
grius, upon this same field of Soissons, first foimded the kingdom. 

Pepin by his courage and wisdom augmented the power of his 
nation. At this time, in 753, pope Stephen crossed the Alps (he 
being the first pope who since the foxmdation of the church had 
undertaken this journey) to demand the assistance of P^xin against 
the Longobardian king Aistulph, who had conquered Ravenna, 
and demanded tribute and submission from the pope. Pepin pro- 
mised him aid, and retained him through the winter at his court in 
Mtinster. Here the pope repeated the anointment of the king, as 
already performed by the holy Boniface, anointing also his two sons, 


Carloman and Charles (after he had himself lifted the latter, then 
twelye years old, firom the font), and then presented to the Franks 
these members of the newly'-created dynasty as alone legitimate. In 
the spring of the year 754 the kingadyanced against Italy, defeated 
Aistulph at Susa, re-oonquered Kavenna, with the surrounding 
country, which had previously belonged to the Greek emnerors, and 
presented it to the pope. Tms fonxued the beginning of the papal 

Pepin died in 768t in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and the 
Flanks mouzned his death as mudi as if he had sprung ftom the 
ancient royal race. In stature he was short, but veiy strong. It is 
related of him, that once, upon the occasion of a combat of wild 
heuts, some one jested about nis size, upon which he stepped into 
the aiena, drew his sword, and with one blow struck off the head of 
a lion: '* I am not taU," said he, " but my arm is strong T' 

His sons, Charles and Carloman, wa?e elected kings by the nation 
of the Franks, in a solemn assembly, and regularly diyided the 
loDgdom between them. 





The eTenU of the reign of Gharleniagiie caUed finrth the energy of the 

1. The annalf and chronidei, of which mention haa heen made preyioualy, became 
augmented, and proved for tiiit period more and more important; whilat education, 
BO much promoted b^ Chariemagne, ia therein diaplayed both in the language and 
treatment of the anbject. 

2. In reference to the hiatory of Charlemagne, the worka of Einhaxd or Eginhard 
will alwaja remain the moat important, being written by a man who waa in imme- 
diate oommnnication with that iOTereign. Hia ** Annawai,** from 741 — 829, treat 
more particularly of thia period than the oontinuati<m of the *' Annal Laoriaaenaea,'* 
before mentioned. The " Vita Caroli Magni,** after giying a brief account of the 
wan of Charlemagne, deacribes eapecially every other particular connected with his 
life and ita eyenta; uid muat be read by all with pleaaure. In additioD to thia we 
poaaeaa also hia lettera. 

8. Theganua, biahop of Trerea, who died in 848, wrote the life of Louia the pioua, 
— ** Be geatia LudoTid pii**— certainly not yery impartially, and rather too briefly, 
yet written with aincerity and exact information. 

4. The ** Vita Hludo rid Pii auctore anonymo,'* ia much more complete, written 
by a member of the emperor'a houaehold; thia ia rich in &cta, and ia ezpresKd with 

5. Equally important ia the poetical repreaentation of a contempofary, Ermoldua 
Nigellua, in hia degiac poem, " in honorem HludoTid Caeaaria.** 

6. Nithard, grandaon of the emperor, who died in 858, deacribea moat completely 
the diflj;mtea among the aons of Louia, in hia " IV libria de diaaenaionibua flOorum 
LudoYid Pii;** he showa himadf to be deddedly on the side of Charlea the Bald. 

7. The " Vita Sti- Anakarii," by Rimbert, Ardibiahop of Hamburg, written under 
Louia the German, treata more eapecially upon the North German relationa. 

8. Enhard'a and Budolphua'a ** Annala of Fulda,** and their oontinuatora, axe, after 
the conduaion of Einhard, very important in German hiatory. In hia work, 
Ruddphua givea a Tery interesting description of the Saxons; he ia the only 
writer who was acquainted with the writings of Tacitua, and from the latter*a 
Gtrmania he haa quoted aereral chapters literally. With respect to the western 
moiety of the Fruikish kingdom, the ** Annalea Bertiniani" (ao called from the 
Abbey St. Bertinbd Gent) of 822, give the best information. The last moiety waa 
perhapa written by the celebrated Archbishop Hincmar of Bheima. 

9. A monk of St Gallen, Manachus SangallensiB, haa described in two hooka ^ de 
Gestia Car. Magni," the Ufe of the emperor in a peculiar faahion, according to 
communications receiyed and popular legends, mostly without historical fidelity, but 
still not without grace. 

10. Abbo, a monk of St Germain, waa preaent at the aiege of Paria by the Nor- 
mana in 885, and haa deacribed the eyents of that period in a poem, **debellia Paxii* 
ada," in a yery animated style. 

1 1. The so-called Poeta Sazo f 900), haa rendered into yeraewhat Ehiharda Annals 
rdate of the emperor, and haa partly succeeded in his work, although he can never, 
or but rarely be used aa a reference. 

12. The Chronicles of the Abbot Begino, who died in 915, and which extend to the 
year 907, are yery important for the latter period of the Carolingjana. 

13. The lettera of the popea, soyerdgns, princes, &C., of thia period are also Tery 
important, particularly tiiose whidi are contained in the Codex Cazolinua; likewise 
the letters and works of Alcuin, aa also the lettera of Senratua Lupua, Eginhard's 
friend, and Hincmar, archbishop of Bheims. 

14. Finally, it is quite certain that the ** Ca^tularia Begum Francorum," the 
lawa of the r&dm, and general decreea of the kinga, form a prindpal aouroe of re- 
ference for our hiatory. They were collected by Baluziua, and haye been reoently 
publiahed by Perts, in the thira ydume of the ** Monumenta." 




ChttkniagDe, 768 — 814 — ^The state in which Charlemagne found the Empire— 
The East-Roman or Grecian Empire — England — The North of Europe — The 
Spanish Peninsnla — ^Italy — Austria and Hungary — Germany — ^The Wars of 
Charlemagne — ^The Saxons — ^The Longohordi — ^The Arabs — The BaYarian»— 
The Empire of Charlemagne — Charlemagne, Emperor of Rome, 800 — The Death 
of Charlemagne, 8 1 4— His Portraiture. 

It has been the fate of Charlemagne, as well as the majority of 
eztiBordinaiy historical characters, to be subjected to the ordeal of 
a Terj different, and frequently a very opposite criticism. By many 
he has been daased with the noblest heroes and sages of the human 
race, by some, however, he has been rejected as a blood-thirsty ty* 
lant, whose whole object and desire was war and destruction. It is 
trae that he led his armies from one end of his extensive empire to 
the other in constant warlike expeditions, and subjected many nations 
b^ foioe of arms to his dominion, thus giving Europe an entirely 
cimeient form. The question therefore to be solved is, whether his* 
toiy shall bless or curse him for these extraordinary deeds. 

A false judgment must necessarily be passed upon great men and 
the great events of nations, by those who cannot transport themselves 
from their own times back into those whereof the picture is to be drawn. 
In periods when society is in a ferment, and barbarism and civilisa* 
tion are in contest with each other; when from the existing compo- 
nent parts something new and great is to germinate, towards which 
the tranquil course of things, as handed down will not suffice — 
Providence sends forth mighty individuals, who are destined to lead 
a whole age many steps onward in its development, and, according 
to the object which they are to accomplish, it furnishes them with 
adequate vigour of intellect and strength of will. But because such 
choeen spints do not follow the beaten track, and because, perhaps, 
whilst their eye is fixed upon the distant mountain summit, many a 
flower is crushed beneath their feet, and they in the impatient 
straggle, which in the short space of the Ufe of one man is to deter- 
miDe the plan of the course of centuries, wound imconsciously many 
a sacred right; the easy, indolent spirit of the lover of repose, 
therefore, to which the sanctity of rights forms the foundation-stone 
of life, is loud in execration against the vessel in which was compressed 
^ gigantic, mighty powers, and the judgment thence pronounced 
is frequently severe and unjust. But who shall censure the mountain 
stream because it flows not like the meadowy brook, but drags forth 
fren stones and trees, bearing them onwards with it in its course? It 
w true it tears forth by the roots the decayed and rotten stems, but 
^Weby the light of heaven is opened to cheer the progress of the 
Quiie young and tender plants. 



Let this, however, by no means be considered as an apology for the 
violence of tjrrannical rulers, whose actions'flow from an impure source. 
Man is a free agent, and presents himself as the ready instrument 
of Providence in its great plans. Tbe mcmner in which he executes 
his office depends upon himself, and either justifies or condenms him. 
It is not the great deeds he has {>erformed, nor the thousands who 
have bled in battle, whikt others in the intoxication of victory have 

Erofanely worshipped him, that decide upon his merits or demerits, 
ut it is the ol^^ by which he was governed, and the purpose for 
which he accomplished his extraordinary plans: whether ne has been 

fuided by great thoughts towards a worthy and noble end, or only 
y his own pride, his ambHioa/and vanitj^, or to ^>eak figuratively, 
whether in the mirror of his life tlie infinite creation and its worlds, 
or only his own proud ima^ berdiected. This may be observed firam 
many signs, but it is especially to be recognised therein^ viz., wh«i he 
has revered the dignity of humanity as a sacred object, even in its 
details, or not observing or acknowledging it, but despising men, he 
has marely used th^n as instruments to his purposes. 

This should be our rule of judgment, in order that we may not 
allow ourselves on the one side to bestow admiration upon mere 
power without intrinsic goodness, nor on the other to prejudge un* 
justly all those names which are inscribed in the volume, too fre- 
quently perhaps in characters of blood and fire. 

The work of a great man derives its proper light fix>m the condi* 
tion of the world when he appeared upon the staee; it is therefore 
necessary to take a short review of the state of Europe at t^e time 
Charles attained the empire. 

1. The East-Roman, or Greek empire, still existed; but only in the 
strange mixture of old and new relations, of splendour and misery, of 
presumption and weakness, as it had existed for a thousand years — 
in the history of the world a riddle. For it is scarcely to be con- 
ceived how the mere shadow of an ancient, great, and splendid state, 
or as it w^re the gaudily-decorated corpse of antiquity, as that empire 
has been happily called, should have preserved itself so long without in- 
ternal life. The change of rulers and the inconstancy of all conditions 
were so great, that for an emperor of Constantinople no title was more 
flattering than being styled, '' the imperial son of a father bom in the 
purple robe" (porphyrocenitus porphyrogeniti). For the throne came 
by turns to men who had been bom among the dress of society, and who 
owed their elevation to some crime. To Charlemagne this distant 
and extensive, but wealthy empire, could not be immediately either 
an object of dread or ambition. He maintained friendship with the 
Greek emperors, and they mutually honoured each other with em- 
bassies and presents, for it was desirable to the Grreeks to be upon 
good terms with him. ** Retain the Frank for thy fiiend, but pre- 
vent him from being thy neighbour," was an established proverb 
among^the Grreeks. 

2. England, at the commencement of Charlemagne's reign, was 


etill divided among aeyend Anglo-Saxon^ kings, and formed a se* 
duded world of its own, without possessing any influence upon the 
nations of the contin^iit. Charlemagne's name, however, was speed- 
ily known and highly esteemed. One of his most confidential friends, 
Alcuin, was an Englishman, and by his means he often caused the 
princes there to be written to, and persuaded them to be united and 
repel the attacks of the valiant Danes. Even the Thanes, or petty 
kings of Scotland, called him no otherwise than their lord. 

3. The north of Europe was still but little known. It is true it 
was the cradle of valiant men, who knew how to wield the iron of 
their soil with a powerful arm, and who, after the reim of Charle^ 
magne, bj their maritime expeditions gained ihemselves a terrific 
name upon all the coasts of Europe. They were yet, however, with- 
out importance to the Frankish empire. Nevertheless, with his com- 
preheoffiTe mind, Charlemagne perceived the danger which threa- 
tened from them. It is related that being once at a seaport, (it is 
said at Narbonne,) some ships approached the coast but th^r crews 
were not known. Charlemagne's quick eye detected them to be 
Nocman pizates by their shape and rapid motions. They hastily re- 
tired when th^ heard that uie great emperor was there. AAer they 
had disappeared he tmmed sorrowfully from the window, shed tears, 
and at last said to those around him, '^ You would fain know, my 
friends, why I wept? Not £rom fear, no! but it vexes me that, 
iunns my life, they have ventured to this shore, and with grief 
do I K«esee, alas ! the mischief they will bring to my successors." 

4. The Spanish Peninsula was subjected to the Arabians with the 
exoep6oa of some Westro-Gothic places among the mountains, but 
their religious zeal had already cooled, and their power was tamed by 
internal dissensions. Charlemagne's grand£aither had deterred them 
from the conquest of Europe, and they thought only of maintaining 
their own existence in Spain. But Charlemagne could not behold 
with indiffisrenoe the enemies of the Christian name as his neighbours. 

5. Italy was divided into three dominions, the Longobardian in 
iip])er and a portion of lower Italy; the Grecian in lower Italy and 
Sicily; and the Roman in middle Italy. Rome was in a mixed 
state, fer tiie power was divided between the Pope, the senate, and 
the people, but the pope daily acquired more importance. The su« 
perior protective dommion of the city had passed from the Greek 
emperxHS to the kings of the Franks, tor Pope Stephen, in the name 
of the Roman senate and people, had, in the year 754, conv^ed the 
dignity of a Roman Patrician to King Pepin and his sons. JDetween 
die Ttrnm^Mfi and the Longobards there arose a bitter hatred and im- 
placable enmity, which were the immediate cause of Charlemagne 
interfering in the affidrs of Italy. He had, indeed, endeavoured to 
remove the ancient jealousy which prevailed between the Franks and 
die Longobards by marrying the daughter of King Desiderius, but 
upm this occasion Pope Stephen wrote to him thus: ^' What madness 
ia the most eacoellent son of a great king to sully his noble Frankish 



race by an alliance with that most faithless and most fulsome nation, 
the Longobardi, who should not be named among the muldtude 
of nations, and from whom doubtlessly the race of lepers had their 
origin. What community of feelinc has light with darkness, or a 
behever with an unbeliever." The Longobards richly returned this 
hatred of the Romans; one of their bishops says of them: " Under . 
the name of a Roman we comprehend all that is mean, cowardly, 
avaricious, and lyinff, nay, even all vices combined." Charlemagne's 
union with the royal house of the Longobards was not durable, for 
two years afterwards he sent back the daughter of King Desiderius; 
whether it arose from the ill-will of the pope to this marriage, or 
whether other unknown reasons urged him we cannot say, but we 
shall speedily see that greater causes arose for the enmity between 

6. To the south-east of Charles's possessions in Austria and Hungary, 
dwelt the Avari, a Mongolian nation from Asia, which had long 
warred with and plundered the provinces of the eastern empire, but 
now quietly but anxiously guarded the treasures amassed during two 
centuries. These lay heaped up in nine particular places, surrounded 
by walls and ditches, and which were called circles, appearing to 
invite, as it were, every one to retake them from their possessors, 
who themselves did not know how to enjoy them. 

7. The remaining portion of the eastern German borders was oc- 
cupied b^ the different branches of the Slavonians and Vandals, 
rude nations of a less noble, natural disposition than the Grermans. 
In Germany they possessed Holstein, Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, 
Pomerania, a portion of Saxony, the Lausitz, Silesia, Bohemia, and 
Moravia. In Holstein were the Wagrians; in Mecklenburg, the 
Obotriti ; in a portion of Brandenburg, the Wilzen ; in another part 
the Hevellers and Ukems; the Pomeranians in the province which 
has received their name — collective branches of the Vandals. In 
the district of Meissen, the Sclavonian Sorbi; in Lausitz, the Lau- 
sitzers; in Bohemia, the Ezechi; and the Moravians in Moravia. 

8. In Germany itself Charlemagne found greater tranquillity. The 
Sej)ts, who had been subjected to the Franks, the Allemanni, Ba- 
varians, and Thuringians had by degrees accustomed themselves to 
the foreign dominion, which was not only not oppressive, but had 
even left them their manners, laws, and peculiar customs. But with 
the exception of the Bavarians, they were no longer ruled according * 
to ancient custom by their own duKes, but accordmg to the Frankish 
institutions, by counts without hereditary power in distinct districts. 
Thence they wanted a central point of union, and the ancient love 
of independence survived most firmly among the Bavarians alone. 
The bishops in all these provinces were very much attached to the 
Carlovingian dynasty. 

But on the borders of his empire, in the north of Germany, dwelt 
neighbours who offered the first object for the trial of his strength, 
namely, the Saxons, unconquered and free, fixed in their boundaiiee 


from the Grerman Ocean to Thuiingia, and from the Elbe to the 
vicinity of the Rhine. Whilst among the Franks, the old German 
institutions had been much altered, and the warriors in the Gefolge 
or suite of the king, had assumed the order of nobility, and occupied 
tbe place of the freemen, the Saxons still lived in the ancient man- 
ners of their ancestors, without a common chieftain, each Grau or 
district under its own head, and only during war, under a self-elected 
leader. It was a community of freemen in free dwellings. The in- 
terior of their country was defended by forests and morasses, and 
strong places for the defence of the boundaries were erected on the 
Lippe, Ruhr, Weser, Dimel, and Elbe. In their groves of a 
thousand years' growth, they still sacrificed to the gods of their 
lathers, whilst the other German tribes had all adopted Christianity; 
nay, they were even accused of still celebrating human sacrifices. Tne 
Flanks considered themselves so superior to them by reason of their 
Christianity, as well as the general superiority of their cultivation, 
that their historians can scarcely deprecate sufficiently the rudeness 
and wildness of the Saxons. But they were not so much dangerous 
as burdensome neighbours of the Franks, because, according to the 
ancient German practice, they did not wish to make conquests, but 
merely roved in predatory incursions into neighbouring countries. 
But a well-guardea frontier would have been a sufficient protection 
against them as well as against the Slavonians and Avan, and we 
see from this sketched description, that Charles might have re- 
clamed, Uke the Merovingians, in quiet possession of his inheritance 
''nthout conducting such great external wars. The Frankish em- 
pire extended in self-sufficient strength, from the Pjnrenees to the 
Lower Rhine, and from the English Channel to the Ens, in Austria, 
and had nothing to fear from any of its neighbours. 

But a mind satisfied with mere tranquil possession was not ac- 
corded to Charles; its internal power was used to vent itself in new 
fonns for this was the law implanted in his nature. The condition of 
the world demanded great creative powers in order not to remain for 
centuries longer waste and confused. We dare not censure Charles 
wcaose he followed this impulse of his nature, but the way in which 
ke followed it and modelled his new creation, gives the measure of 
judgment against him. Were high and noble thoughts his gmde, 
and was his ovim genius great, or was it petty, and directed to vain 
things? Upon that the history of his life must decide. 

After Charles (who ascended the throne in his twenty-sixth year) 
*ad his brother Carloman had reigned together some years, the latter 
W in 77 1 . The nobles of Carloman's possessions desired his brother 
lor their king also, and cast out the two sons of Carloman from suc- 
^on to the throne, with whom the widow fled, and took refuge at 
^ court of Desiderius, king of the Longobardi. Thus was Charles 
*le ruler of the Franks. Upon this he assembled at Worms an im- 
P^ diet in 772, where he represented to the assembly the re- 
J**ted offences of the Saxons and the merit of their conversion to 


Christianity; upon which the nation declared war against the Saxons 
— the first and longest war that Charles was engaged in — ^for it con- 
tinued with several interruptions to the year 803, consequently for 
thirty-two years. During this time Charles frequently conquered 
the Saxons in open field, and forced them to conclude peace, but 
when he again quitted their country, and was obliged to withdraw to 
the farther end of his empire, they broke the peace, rebelled against 
the obnoxious dominion, chased away the Frankish garrisons, and 
made incursions into the country of the Franks, imtil Charles again 
app^red and forced them anew to submission. 

The first irruption made in their coimtry, in the year 772, was 
successful and short. He proceeded from Worms, through Hessia to 
the Weser, and Dimel. He conquered the burg of Eresbei^ (the pre- 
sent Statberg, in the bishopric of Paderbom), the Saxon place of re- 
treat not far from the Weser, in a rude neighbourhood, and upon a 
precipitous height; and destroyed the celebrated Irminsiil (or statue 
of Irmin), an object regarded with the most sacred reneration by 
the Saxons, but of which we do not precisely know whether it was 
an image of a god, or perhaps a monument of Arminius, thus rerercd 
with divine honours. The Saxons concluded peace upon the banks 
of the Weser, and gave twelve chiefs as hostages. 

Charles was rejoiced at having so speedily concluded an advan- 
tageous peace, for already other affairs called him into Italy. De- 
siderius, who by the reception of the widow of Carloman had al- 
ready shown himself as an enemy, required of the new pope, Adrian, 
that he should anoint the sons of Carloman as kings of tne Franks; 
and upon Adrian's refusal, he threatened him with war. The pope 
demanded aid from Charles, who at once advanced, crossed the 
Alps, marched round the passes, of which the Longobardi had 
taken possession, and encamped before Pavia in the year 774. 
Desiderius purposed defending his metropolis until sickness and 
want should force the Franks to retire. But Charles was not of a 
disposition to be so soon fatigued ; he let his army Ue six months be- 
fore Pavia, went himself to the Easter festival at Rome, which he 
for the first time witnessed, and there confirmed the deed of gift 
made by his father. He then returned to Pavia, which soon yielded 
to him, received Desiderius as a prisoner, and sent him, after shaving 
his head for the cowl, to the monastery at Corvey in France, where, 
after a short time, he died. Charles now called himself king of the 
Lombards, and caused himself to be crowned at Monza. 

As the Saxons had in the meantime recommenced war, he on 
his return, and after he had held a diet at Duren, made in 775, a 
new incuraon into their country, conquered Sigberg, restored the 
Eresberg destroyed by the Saxons, pressed onwards over the Weser 
to the Oker, there receiving hostages from the Eastphalians, and on 
his return, near Buckeburg (Buchi), obtaining also those of the An- 
gravarians. But as, in the meantime, the Longobardian, Duke Rot- 
gaud, of Frioul, to whom, as vassal of the empire, he had entrusted the 


panes of the Alps, decided upon taking advantage of the moment, and 
lebelled, Charles was abreadj a^ain in Italy (776), and punished the 
seceders before th^ thought him eren apprued of their plans. This 
tjme, also, he was about to advance to Kome, when a message ar- 
med with intelligence that the Saxons had ^gain revolted, bad retaken 
Eresberg, and laid sie^e to Sigsber^. 1m speedily returned back 
into Germany, forced his way through all their forest^defences as far 
as Lipp^iing, when the Saxons agam yielded, and many vowed to 
become Cfarisdans, and offered themselves to be baptised. He built a 
fortresB on the Lippe, perhapi where Lippestadt at present stands. 

In the following year (777), he was already enabled to hold a 
diet at Paderbom, m the country of the Saxons, where the majority 
of the nation swore fidelity. Their boldest leader, however, Wit- 
tekind (Saxon, Widukind), had fled to the Danish king, Sigfried. 
It was at this diet that the ambassadors of the Arabian governors 
of Saragoesa and Huesca, in Spain, appeared before Chs^les, and 
entieated his assistance against the Kmg, Abderam. He consi- 
dered it worthy of his dignity not to allow those who placed them- 
selves under his protection to entreat in vain; besides, these unbe- 
heven, who had pressed onwards into Europe, were his most hated 
enemies. Accor£ngly he advanced in the following year (778), 
mto Spain; the petty Christian princes in the mountains of Na- 
yvne, who had maintained themselves independent of the Moors, 
here joined him; he conquered P^unpeluna, Saragossa, Barcelona, and 
GiroDa; and the country as far as tne Ebro swore allegiance to him. 
Henceforward it formed part of his empire, under the name of 
the Spaniflh inarches or hmits, and was a land of protection for 
the Ghiisdanfii remaining in Spain. 

■ Upon his return, however, with his army, winding itself, as it 
V poetically described, like a long brazen serpent among the rough 
locks of the Pyrenees, and through the obscure forests and narrow 
paths, the rear-guard became separated from the main body, and in 
an ambuscade laid by the mountaineers, fell into the ravines of Ron- 
cavalles. Hie Franks could not fight in their heavy armour, and 
they fdl with their leader Rutland, me Count de la Manche. This 
is &e celebrated knight, Roland, who later, as well as his king — 
Chariea, is bo much sung in the legends and heroic lays of Europe. 

Meanwhile the Saxons, according to custom, when the king was 
It a distance, had anin seized arms. Under Wittekind they fell 
iipon the coimtry of the Franks, and devastated it with fire and 
^otd as iar as Deuz, opposite Cologne. This, like the earlier revolts 
of the Saxons, was not so much a war of the nation and of the heads 
of fiunilies, but of individual leaders with their suite or Gefolge, who 
id not consider themselves bound by the treaties. Charles returned, 
^e the enemy far back into their country, and in 780 constructed 
'wtreases on the Elbe to fix a strong rein upon them. And now 
^l^onkii^ himself quite secured in that quarter, he made a journey in 
^^1 toKome to cause his sons Pepin and Louis to be anointed by the 


Pope, the former King of Italy, the latter Eong of Acquitaine (South 

The Saxons in the interim had maintained themselves perfectly 
quiet, but the remembrance of their ancient freedom would not quite 
die within them, and Christianity, which had been brought to tnem 
with the sword by their hated neighbours, gained no power over 
their hearts. It appeared insupportable to them that a man should not 
himself revenge a contumely, and that a hero should not have a par- 
ticular heaven. The impost of tithes which they were obliged topay 
to the church, appeared also excessively oppressive to them. As Wit- 
tekind had, therefore, now returned and placed himself at their head, 
they thought the present was the best moment for them to shake off 
the yoke, and, the same as formerly, when their nation fell upon Varus 
in the Teutoburger forest, they now surrounded the Frankish leaders 
Geilo and Adalgis, upon Mount Suntel, on the Weser, just as they 
were about to march against the predatory Sorbians dwelling on the 
Saale, and destroyed them as well as the greatest portion of their army. 

This deed inflamed the wrath of the king (who was already ex- 
cessively irritated at their repeated rebellion) to the degree, that 
he broke into the country, desolated it far and wide, and caused 
4500 imprisoned Saxons to be beheaded near Verden on the Aller, 
as a temble example to the rest, and as a sacrifice for his army de- 
stroyed — as it appeared to him, by treachery; a stain in his history 
which cannot be justified, but may partly be excused by the rash 
and turbulent manners of those times, and the excited passions of the 
king. As a consequence of this severe act, Charles, in 783, beheld 
the whole nation of the Saxons, under Wittekind and Alboin, rise 
simultaneously in such furious rage and madness as had never 
before been evinced. Two severe battles were fought near Thie^ 
melle, now Detmold, and on the river Hase in Osnaburg; the first 
was undecided, but the second so unfortunate for the Saxons, that 
Charles advanced as far as the Elbe, and in this and the next year, 
when with his wife and children he passed the winter campaign at 
Eresburg, he proffressively strengthened his power in their country. 
Wittekind and Alboin then saw that heaven had decided the fate of 
their nation, and that a longer resistance would completely annihi- 
late it. They promised submission to the powerful king, and took an 
oath to go themselves to France, and be there baptised; and they kept 
their word. In the year 785 they came to Attigny, and Charles him- 
self was sponsor to the Saxon duxe, Wittekind, and his wife Gera. 

From this time henceforward Saxony became more tranquil, and sub- 
mitted to the Frankish institutions as well as to those of Christianity. 
Charles, for the purpose of strengthening this doctrine among them, 
likewise founded, by degrees, several bishoprics and religious foun- 
dations, which continued to spread light around, viz. : in Osnaburg, in 
783; Verden, in 786; Bremen, in 788; Paderbom, in 795; Halber- 
stadt; Elze (which was removed in 822 to Hildesheim), and Munster, 
in 806. Yet the seeds of disquiet were not quite destroyed; small dis- 


pates still frequently arose, and we shall shortly come to one of 
greater import. 

Charles's next dispute was with Duke Tassilo of Bavaria, of the an- 
cient race of the Agitolfingi. Tassilo had still old offences to answer 
for, inasmuch as he had never supplied Pepin or Charles with troops, 
and he was now charged with having incited the Avari of Hungary 
to war with the king. His consort Luitberga, a daughter of the 
Longobardian king, Desiderius, may have enacted her part likewise in 
these designs. Tassilo was condemned to death by the assembled no- 
bles at the diet of Ingelheim, 778, but pardoned by Charles; and 
by his own wish, together with his son Theodore, banished to a mo- 
nastery. Bavaria became now, like the other Frankish countries, 
ruled Dy rojral counts or governors, and the bishopric of Salzburg 
was raised to an archbishopric over the whole of Bavaria. 

In the year 787, Arechis, the Longobardian Duke of Benevento 
in Lower Italy, also yielded allegiance to the king as his superior 
feudal lord. He ruled that beautiful country aa far as Naples and 
Brindisi. He made it a condition, however, that he himself should 
not come to Germany and appear before Charles, which was granted. 
The duke received the ambassadors of the kin^ at Salerno; his 
army sorrounded the palace, young nobles with the falcon on theix 
gauntlet, formed rows upon the grand steps leading up to the Burg, 
whilst the hall was filled with the provosts of cities, and their coun-^ 
oil in state dreases, &c. The duke, seated upon the gorgeous, golden 
chair of state, stood up, and swore to be faithful to the king, to 
maintain peace, and to perform feudal service to the extent of a 
league beyond the frontiers of Benevento. 

After this, Charles formed the resolution to punish the Avari in 
Austria and Hungary for their earlier predatory expeditions. Ac- 
cordingly, he marched asainst them in the year 791 ; the Franks 
advancea on the south side of the Danube; the Saxons, with the 
Fnesi, who were both obliged to yield feudal service, advanced upon 
its northern bank; and upon the river itself a flotilla conveyed an- 
other portion of the army. Their appearance alone drove the Avari 
away full of terror; they left to the enemy the immense booty of 
their treasures, and Charles subjected the country to his dominion as 
iar asthe river Raab. 

In the following years, he merely sent detached forces against 
them. His main army remained, meanwhile, in South Germany, and 
worked at a canal to form the junction of the Altmiihl with the Red- 
nitz rivers, between the Maine and the Danube, which, had it been com* 
pleted, would have united the North Sea, by means of the Rhine, with 
the Danube to the Black Sea; an important work^ replete with rich 
commercial prospects. Levantine merchandize would thus have 
found a direct course from their repository at Constantinople to the 
veiy heart of Charles's states. But unfavourable weather, and the dif- 
ficidties of the ground, but chiefly the want of skill in his workmen, 
who knew not how to drain the water from the places that were dug, 


nor to secure the banks of the canal from falling in, rendered the 
work nugatory* Charles, therefore, abandoned the undertakmg ; but 
the hononr of completing this great plan, originating with him, has 
been handed down and conferred in our days upon another sovereign 
of the German race. And the cause why he aid not now again at-- 
tack the Avail, and thus open to himself the road to Constantinople^ 
was produced by a fresh rebellion of the Saxons, who, not liking long 
warlike expeditions, but only short-excursions, found the hard march* 
xng feudal service in such distant parts particularly trying. They re* 
eisted it and mutinied, and induced the Friesi to ao the same. The 
king was, therefore, obliged to make several incursions into their 
country, in the course of which, in 797, he advanced as far as the 
ocean between the mouths of the Elbe and Weser. Meantime, the 
war against the Avari was continued successfully by his generals, 
and tnen by his son Pepin, to the year796; the seat of their Chagan 
or chief, the main circle of their land, with all its treasures were oon- 
qnered, and the countiy thus wrested from them was taken possession 
of by fresh inhabitants, conveyed from other German states, but chiefly 
from Bavaria. Charles distributed the immense booty amongst his 
<^^^^79 hy which means the quantity of noble metals became sad- 
denhr very much increased in the Frankish country. 

Tne object of Charles in this expedition against the Avari, as well 
as in those a^inst the Sclavonian nations, was chiefly to secure the 
eastern frontiers of the kingdom. Thence arose a long line of fron- 
tier provinces, from the Aoriatic Sea to the Elbe, aloz^ the ancient 
boundaries of the Longobardi, Bavarians, Swabians, Franks, Tha- 
ringians, and Saxons. To these were appointed margzaves, who 
bore the title of marchio (dux limitis), and who had their seats orim- 
nally fixed in the most strongly fortified burgs of the ancient dis- 
tricts. The inhabitants of tnese frontier provinces, through wars 
and repeated revolts, became gradually destroyed, and were replaced 
by German colonists, for whose protection the burgs were usefxilly 
adapted, as well as for bringing either into subjection or alliance the 
neighbouring Slavonic princes. Several of these princes entered^ 
subsequently, the ranks of the princes of the empire; for Charles's 
plans and reflations in these countries operated late in afier years 
with beneficial eflect. 

The disputes with the Saxons continued until the ninth century; 
but the strength of these people became more and more weakenea, 
and especially after Charles, forced, by their obstinate resistance, to 
adopt such extreme measures, transplanted some thousands of them 
£rom their native land into other parts of his kingdom. Thus they 
were gradually reduced to a state of peace, even without any for- 
mal treaty being concluded — ^the peace of Selz in 803, as hitherto 
accepted, not bemg admissible as a proof of treaty-— and Charles was 
enaUed to commence upon his plans and arrangements in Saxony. 
He proceeded at once to strengthen Christianity amongst them more 
fiimly, whilst, however, he granted them greater indq)«idence than 


he had to the AOemazmi and Bavaiians. They retained their an* 
cient privilegeB, and were chiefly governed by native counts, who 
were, it is true, chosen by Charles, and were placed under the im-* 
perial envoys. This, therefore, may rather be called a union of the 
oaxon nation with that of the Franks, as Einhard himself terms it, 
than a subjection; and, indeed, they well merited, by the perse* 
vering consistency with which they conducted it, so honourable a 
oondnsion to their long struggle for freedom. But, on the other hand, 
Charles's perseverance is also to be admired, for although he had the 
idvantage of numbers and great superiority in the art of war on his 
side, still the Saxons had the benefit of their countnr , and the forests 
and morasses as formerly in their battles with the Kc»nans. 

Charles, to confirm tranquillity for ever among them, transplanted 
about 10,000 of the most violent from the Elbe and the coasts of the 
North S^ into the country of the Franks, as cultivators of the im- 
perial farms; and from that transplantation, no doubt, is derived the 
names of Sachsenhausen near Frankfort, as well as Sachsenheim 
and Sachsenflur, in Franconia. The places left thus void on the 
Elbe he gave over to his allies the Vandal Obotriti, in Mecklen- 
burg, and the Yagrian Sclavi, from whom this part of Holstein has 
recaved and preserved the name of Vagria. 

If we cast back our glance upon these first thirty years of the 
rei^ of Charles thus filled with wars, we must admire the great ra- 
pidity with which he marched from Saxony to Italy, from there back 
to the Weser, and then back again twice the same road ; then into 
Spain along the £bro, and back to the Elbe, proceeding on to Hun- 
gaiy, to the Haab, and again returning into his own country; and 
wherever he arrived, his presence immediately deciding the contest. 
Berein we have at once the true character of a hero ; this boldness and 
npidity of thought, resolution, and action ; this impression of innate 
penonal greatness, which nothing could resist, and which greatness 
nobodv has sought to deny. But still more than all this, it was not ab- 
Bofaitelytheloveofwarand conquest, and the honourof his name, which 
nwpred him to drive his armies on so breathlessly through the countries 
of MTope, but his plans were regulated by one grand creative idea 
for whicn he considered himself called upon to make these sacrifices. 

What already the great Ostro-Gothic kin^, Theodoric, had in con- 
templation, prospective, as it were, of future times, but which it was not 
allowed him to accompUsh, viz., the union of the Christian Ger- 
pwrnc nations into one empire, Charlemagne executed; not certainly 
in Theodoric's manner, by the gentle force of persuasion and convic- 
tion, for by that means the end was not to be attained, but accord- 
fflgto the custom of his nation and of his age, by the terror of arms, 
let, he cannot be charged with having capriciously sought war more 
inmitiy than was necessary for the attainment of his object. 

The central point of this great Germanic empire was to be the beau- 
fifid country ol the Rhine, and Ingelheim near Mentz, was, therefore, 
o^etheroyalseatjbutwhichwasEa'terwards transferred to Aix-la-Cha- 


pelle and Nimwegen. No doubt be migbt bave found richer and 
more attractive spots in Italy and France, to induce bim to fix bis 
residence tbere, but bis constant mind was more attached to bis an- 
cient fatberknd tban to tbe most beautiful countries of tbe earth. 
He was no Frankish king as it has fi-equently been wished to repre- 
sent him; but he belonged to the Austrasian Franks, which is the 
country of the Rhine, and where the Franks had their chief inter- 
course with the Germans still remaining there, and thus continuing 
most pure and unmixed. This country he intended should form the 
main and central seat of his empire, and the noble stream of his 
fatherland, as it were, its ^reat vital artery, which should unite all 
its diiFerent sections. This is indicated by the canal by means of 
which he purposed connecting the Rhine and the Danube. 

But if the Lower Rhine and Aix-la-Chapelle were to form the 
centre and seat of his empire, it becomes evident that his chief con- 
test must be with the Saxons, who were here too close and imquiet 
neighbours of his residence for him to tolerate. He necessarily, there- 
fore, extended the limits of his empire farther to the north and north- 
east. But his war with the Saxons had a still different but equally 
serious object; it being essentially a religious war, for the honour 
and difiusion of the Christian faith. Charles was eminently a cham- 

fion of the church, and therein a type of the chivalric middle ages. 
t is true the mild doctrines of CHxistianity should not be difiused 
by fire and the sword ; and Charles sufficiently experienced how little 
durable was the conversion when at his command hundreds at the 
same moment stepped into a river and had water poured over them 
in sign of baptism; but in this he followed less his own wishes than 
the character of his nation, which had itself been converted suddenly 
and during the external excitement of the tvunult of battle. To 
him, however, belongs the fame and glory that he also knew and ho- 
noured the right mode of igniting tne Ught of faith. For besides 
this, he founded monasteries, churches, and bishoprics in Saxony, and 
that these doctrines might be more fully developed and propagated, 
he caused also all the young Saxons, received as hostages, to be as- 
siduously instructed with others, that they might, as teachers, en- 
lighten their nation. And so perfectly did he succeed in his plans, 
that this same Saxon nation, which had hitherto so obstinately re- 
sisted Christianity, was speedily filled with the greatest zeal for it, 
and made in every respect a flourishing progress. 

The confidential and beloved friend of tne king. Pope Adrian^ 
died in 795. Charles mourned for him as for a father, and caused an 
inscription to be placed over his tomb which contains the expression of 
his veneration. His successor. Pope Leo IH., was misused m a revolt 
of the Romans, and sought protection from Charles, who received him 
in solemn state at Paderbom,* whither the pope came in 799, amidst 
an almost incredible concourse of venerating people, when he gave 

* Pope Leo consecrated at Paderborn, amongst other objects, the altar of St. Ste- 
phen, which is still to be found in the yault under the choir of the cathedraL 


him his promise to go himself to Rome to punish the evil-doers ; and 
which promise he fulfilled in the year 800. At the Christmas fes-^ 
tiyal of that same year, Charles was present at the service in St. 
Peter's church at Rome. On this great occasion individuals from 
ahnost every nation of the west, were collected together in the me- 
tropolis of the Christian church, and an innumerable concourse of 
people filled ihe temple. After high mass, when Charles knelt at 
the altar. Pope Leo brought forth an imperial crown and placed it 
upon his head, when the whole assembled multitude exclaimed: 
** Charlee Augustus, crowned by the Almighty, the great and jpeace- 
bringing emperor of the Romans. Hail, all hail, and victory r At 
the same time the pope knelt down before him.* 

Thus i^^24tlth'e)year after Romulus Augustulus had lost the Ro- 
man imperial dignity, it was a^n renewed by Charlemame, who, 
as a patrician, was already chief protector of Rome. He himself 
attributed so much importance to the imperial coronation, that all his 
subjects, from twelve years of age upwards, were obliged to renew 
theur oath of allegiance. His power was now extended over Italy^ 
France, Catalonia, the Balearic islands, and on the other side as &r 

* Eghihard, the biographer and fHend of Charles, sajs indeed — and we may pre- 
siime as reoeiTed direct firam the mouth of the emperor himself— that the latter had, 
at first, adopted the title, Augustus Imperator, with very great reluctance, and that 
he asBored lum he would not even have entered the walls of the church on that grand 
dayof fesdral, had he foreseen the intention of the pope. Nevertheless, it is scarcely 
to be oonceiTed that a proceeding so grave and highly important could have been 
snaoged without the Imowledge and concurrence of Charles, who, indeed, in all his 
actions never allowed himself to be led by others. Besides, it is already evident, 
from what is shown by other good testimonies (Annul. Lauris. ham), that the renewal 
of the imperial dignity had heea discussed and resolved upon, for Alcuin himself 
knew of it beforehand, he having given to one of his pupils a bible and a letter, both 
of which he was deputed to present to the emperor at the Christmas festival in 
Borne, and in which letter tlie learned master wished the mighty sovereign all happi- 
ness ad splendorem imperialis potentia. But what struck Charles, no doubt, with 
fndden surprise and momentary vexation was, that the pope should merely have 
prettMitd to him the imperiad crowny and that it had not been left to hhnu, the sovereign, 
to place it upon his own head himself, or to command it to be done by the pope (as 
hit bishopX as was the custom with the Greek emperors, who were crowned by their 
patnarehs; thence, there is little doubt, arose the expressions attributed to him by 
£ginhaid. This, indeed, is clearly shown subsequently, when, at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
he otdercd Louis to place the crown upon his own head. Charles always considered 
hifflielf as chief ruler over Borne, styled the Bomans in his decrees as his subjects, 
sod indnded Borne in his will amongst the chief cities of his empire. The popes 
i^nun, on their part., placed his own name, as well as those of his successors, on their 
CQTJis, and included them in their bulls. In his letters, Charles henceforth calls him- 
■elf: ^Garolua aerenissimus augustus a Deo coronatus magnns pacificus imperator 
Romannm gubemans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum et 
Langohardorum.** To him it was important to hold dominion over those other na- 
tkms winch had not devolved upon him by hereditary right, by some other means 
than the mere sway (^ conquest, and he well knew that among the Gennan tribes 
tU title of Boman emperor always connected itself with the idea of supreme govem- 
cmt Besides, to the emperor all were equally bound to yield allegiance — counts, 
^hops, fteemen. and servitors; whilst in obedience to the Ama, the freemen varied 
BvteriaDy finom the vasMl, and the bishop from the layman. It likewise established 
^ pontioii towards the clors^, for the pope became now the first bishop of the em- 
pire and Alcuin says distmctly (cap. il), that tiie imperial power is higher than any 
0^, eT«n that of the pope. 


as the north aea, the Elbe, the Bohemian forest, the JUab, and the 
mountains of Croatia, thus even over the greatest portion of the aa* 
cient Roman empire in Europe. 

By this solemn act, Charles s grand undertaking was completed, ac- 
cordmg to its outward form. All the Chiistian nations of German origin, 
ezceptmg En^nd, were united in one large bodj, and Charles, as 
their temporal chief, was crowned xmder the ancient and, by God's 
guidance renewed title of Roman emperor. As such, he was the chief 
protector of the church — by the Franconian synod he was styled the 
regent of true religion — as well as the guardian of justice and peace 
in Europe; and imder his powerful protection, the recently planted 
germ of fresh life and new moral cultivation could safely develope 
itself, without b^ng trampled upon by the destructive contention, of 
nations. Accordingly, this was the great aim and purpose of the 
Roman imperial digmty, as renewed by the Germans, and as The- 
odoric had contemphted, which Charles alone, however, was enabled, 
by his power, to call into existence — an object which has ever con- 
tinued to be fostered in the heart of eveiy noble and magnanimous 
emperor succeeding to the throne of the Germanic empire. 

Charles's empire was therefore not what it has been endeavoured 
by a new name to call — a universal monarchy ; not one empire wherein 
all the nations and countries within his reach were subject to his, the 
individual's will, and by one law, custom, and language, united 
into one uniform, circumscribed whole. Such was not Charles's 
wish. He honou^red the peculiarities of nations, left them their 
laws, which were based upon their ancient customs and modes of 
living ; he left them their manners and their language, which a nalion 
could not be deprived of without inflicting the most grievous wound. 
He was even so widely distant from the idea of an empire stron^y 
and despotically ruled by the will of one individual, that during his 
life, in the year 806, at Dietenhofen, he divided his countries be- 
tween his three sons, so that Pepin should take Italy, Louis, 
Aquitine, and Charles the remainder, consisting chiefly of German 
countries. They and their ffliccessors were bound to consider them- 
selves as the members of one race, and under the superior guidance of 
the emperor for the time being, or the head of the family, hold fra- 
ternally together, and accustom their nations to a similar uni^. 

His soul was full of such good and noble thoughts, that Europe 
would soon have flourished upon the basis he thus laid, had but a 
portion of his spirit feJlen to the share of his descendants. 

But Charles partially foresaw with his own eyes the destruction of 
his plans. Both of his most promising sons died shortly after each 
other, even before their father, and Louis, the weakest, alone re- 
mained. The eldest, Charles, had made several successftd cam- 
paigns a^inst the Serbians beyond the Elbe. The father hoped 
every thmg &om this son, but unhappily these hopes were frus- 

As Charles now felt his own end approaching more and more 


near, he sent for his son Louia to oome to him in the year 813 to 
Aix-Ia-C!hiqpelle, and there on a Sunday, when in the cathedral to* 
ffetfaer, he reminded him of all the dutiee of a good monarch and 
he then caused Louis to place the golden crown (which lay upon 
the altar^ u{>on his head, and thus crowned, his venerable fiitW 
preaentea him to the assembljr as the future king of all the 
J lanks. By this act Charles wished to show that his crown was 
indq)endent of the papal chair, and the Franks were greatly pleased 
with this determination eyinced by their prinoe at we dose of his 

The venerable emperor, however, remained still active; he conti- 
nued to hold imperial diets and church convocaticHis, and regulated 
all other affiurs of the state. 

In January of the year 814 he was attacked by a fever, which 
VB8 foUowea by pleurisy. Charles, who up to his latter days had 
never been ill, and was always an enemy to medicine, wished to 
cure himself by his usual remedy of &8tin^, but his body had now 
become too weak. About five o'clock on tiU morning of the eighth 
day of his illness (the 28 th of January), he felt the approadi of death, 
and enei^getically raisins his right hand, marked upon his forehead^ 
bosom, and even to the reet, the sign of the cross. He then stretched 
£cffth his aims once more, folded them over his bosom, closed his eyes, 
and murmuring softly and in broken tones^ '' Lord, into thy hands do 
I commit my soul," he breathed his last sigh in the seventy-second 
year of his age, and the forty-sixth of his reign. On the very day 
ofhis death the body o£ the deceased emperor was solemnly cleansed^ 
laid out, and anointed, and conveyed amidst the sorrow and mourn- 
ing of the whole nati<m, to the vault of the church built by himself. 
He was thfere clothed in all the imperial robes, with a golden gospel 
speadout on his knees, a piece ot iiie original holy cross upon his 
hesd, and a pilgrim's golden scrip around ms loins, and placed thus 
in an upright position upon a marble chair; when, £Qlin^ the vault 
with frankincense, spices, balsam, and many costly articles, they 
dosed and sealed it up. 

So much veneratbn for the emperor existed throughout all hia 
dominions, and so much were alt eyes directed upon him, that 
erery thing, which during the last few years of his existence, had 
la{^ened to him either wonderful or extraordinary, was considered 
tt prc^hedc of his death. His biographer, Egmhard, mentions 
many such phenomena. During the three years preceding his death, 
tbere were uequait eclipses of the sun and moon; the arcade of 
c^Jonms, which Charles had caused to be erected between the min- 
ner and the imperial palace, sank by a sudden revolution of nature, 
opon Ascension Day, into the earth, and was destroyed to its very 
f>andation. Besides which the Rhone bridge, near Mentz, which 
in the course of ten years he had built of wood with great ingenuity 
and aft, so thavt it was rexMlered fit to last for ages, was entirely 
destroyed by fire in the short space of three hours. He himself in 


his last campaiga against Godfrey, kin^ of the Danes, upon march- 
ing forth one day before sunrise, beheld a fiery meteor fall suddenly 
from heaven, passing from the right to the left, through the clear 
air. At this moment his horse plunged, and falling to the earth, 
overthew him so violently that the clasp of his mantle broke, his 
sword-belt was torn asunder, so that he was lifted from the ground 
by his alarmed attendants without a mantle and without his sword. 
To which may be added a variety of other signs, equally alarming 
in their indication, but in which the great emperor was too wise to 
place any faith. 

In order that we may completely comprehend the extraordinary 
man whose history thus calls forth our adnuration, we necessarily desire 
to be acquainted with his outward form, wherein the mighty spirit 
was encased. We are anxious to know how the eye reflected the 
internal sentiments; whether the brow and countenance depicted 
dignity and repose, or whether they expressed the animated, im- 
petuous emotions of the mind; and finally, whether the elevation 
and power of the spirit were equally displayed throughout the en- 
tire corporeal form. Eginhard, the friend of Charlemagne, and 
whom the latter had brought up in his palace as his adopted son, 
has drawn up for us a beautiful and affectionate description of his 
noble fosterfather : 

" In person," he says, " the emperor was robust and strong, and 
of great heic^ht, for he measured seven of his own feet.* His head 
was round, his eyes large and animated; his nose somewhat exceeded 
moderate proportions; nis grey hair was beautiful to behold, and his 
countenance joyous and cheerful, whence his figure derived peculiar 
dignity and charm. He had a firm step, and a perfect manly bearing. 
He practised riding and hunting incessantly, according to the cus- 
tomary habits of his nation, for scarcely a people existed upon earth 
that could rival the Franks in these arts. Besides this, he was such 
a skilful swimmer, that none could justly be said to surpass him. 

" He enjoyed constant good health, with the exception of the 
last four years of his life, when he was frequently attacked by 
fever, which at last occasioned him to limp slightly on one foot. 
During these attacks, he continued nevertheless to follow his own 
counsel, rather than the advice of his doctors, with whom, in fact, 
he was sorely vexed, for they prohibited him from eating roasted 
meat, which he himself considered the most wholesome of all food. 

** He was exceedingly temperate in both eating and drinking, 
but especially so in the latter, for intoxication was his abhorrence, 
in any person, and particularly in his own palace. His daily meal 
consisted of four dishes only, exclusive of the roasted joint, which 
his yagers or squires brought upon the spit, and which he preferred 
and relished before every other dish. During his meals he listened 

* A staff or lance of iron has been preserved, which is said to give the exact 
height of Charlemagne, and according to which he measured six feet three inches 
hy the Rhenish measurement. 


with great pleasure to the lays of his minstrels on the lute, or to a 
reader, the subjects srni^ or read being always the histories and 
events of heroic men. He also took much delight in the books 
of St. Augustine, particularly in those on the divine government of 

" In summer it was his custom after dinner, to enjoy a little fruit, 
and to drink once; then to undress himself as at mght, and thus 
repose for three or four hours. His nights were very restless, not 
merely by his awaking up several times, but likewise Dy his getting 
np from his couch and walking about. During his toilet, not only 
were his iriends admitted, but likewise, if his Count Palatine had 
to present to him any appeal, which could not be decided without 
his opinion and determination thereupon, he forthwith caused the 
disputants to be brought before him, and then investigated the afiair 
ana save judgment at once. 

" His dress consisted of the national costume, and was but little 
different fix>m that of the common people. He wore, next his skin, 
a linen shirt, over which a garment with a alken cord, and long 
hose. His feet were enclosed in laced shoes, and in winter, for the 
protection of his shoulders and chesty he wore a waistcoat of otter 
skin. As upper garment, he wore a mantle, and had always his 
sword girded on, the haft and defence of which were of gold and 
silver; and at times he wore a sword inlaid with jewels, but only 
on particular festivals, or when he gave audience to forei^ ambas- 
sadors. His raiment likewise, on these occasions, was of golden cloth, 
and he wore a crown adorned with gold and precious stones. JFb- 
teign dren^ even the most beautiful, he disliked and despised, and 
would never clothe himself in such; except when at Rome, where, 
fiisdy at the express wish of Pope Adrian, and secondly, at the re- 
quest of Leo, his successor, he wore a dress with a long train, and a 
broad mantle, with shoes made according to the Roman fashion. 

" Charles possessed a style of rich and flowing eloquence, and 
whatever he wished, was expressed by him in the most clear and 
concise manner. He did not content himself with his mother tongue 
alone, but applied himself industriously to the acquirement of the 
classical and foreign languages generally. Of the K>rmer, he was so 
perfectly master of the Latin, tliat he spoke it equally as well as his 
nadve tongue ; and the Greek, although he md not speak it, he 
nevertheless, perfectly well understood, and was so proficient in it, 
that he coula himself have become its teacher. He practised the 
Eopetior arts very zealously, and was extremely liberal in the 
honours and rewards he conferred upon their professors. Li learn- 
ing grammar, he had the attendance of the venerable deacon, Peter 
of Pisa; and in other sciences, his instructor was Albin, with the 
tomame of Alcuin, who was a native of Britain, but of Saxon origin ; 
a very learned man, and Charles devoted much labour and time 
in acquiring from him a knowledge of astronomy. He also endea- 


Toured to attain the art of writing, and was even aocisfcomed to 
have his tablets under his pillow m bed, 00 that when he bad a 
leisure moment he might practise his hand in the imitatian of 
letters. In this, however, owing to his commencing it at 00 late a 
period, he made but little progress. 

^* The minster at Aix«la<)hapelle, which is of esctreme beauty, is a 
monument of his love for the arts, as also of his great pietj, and 
which he caused after he had it built, to be ornamented with gold 
and silver, together with windows, lattices, and gates of solid ham. 
He had all the pillars and marble stones used for its construction, 
brought from Rome and Ravenna, as he could not obtain them in 
any other quarter.* His piety displayed itself in the support of the 
poor, and in gifts and donations which he sent to distant landa across 
the sea, and wherever he heard Christians to be in want; and thence 
it was that he sought the friendship of princes ruling in those dis- 
tant countries, in order that some portion of nourishment might be 
dispensed to the Ohristians living imder their dominion. It was thus 
he maintained a cordial friendship with Aaron, the Kin^ of the 
Persians (Haroun al Raschid, Gahph of Bagdad), who rmcd over 
nearly the whole of the east, with the exception of India. When, 
therefore, Charles sent his envoys with rich offerings to the holy 
tomb of our Lord and Saviour, they were not only very kindly re- 
ceived by Aaron, but, on their return, he sent with them his own 
ambassador to accompany them to the court of Charles, and who 
conveyed from him the choicest of the shawh, spices, and other costly 
rarities of the east, as presents to the emperor, to whom be it men- 
tioned, he had already, in proof of their good understanding, sent 
fiome few years previously, the only elephant he then had in his pos- 

From another source we learn that this elephant, whioh waa called 
Abulabaz, or the destroyer, by its monstrous and unexampled siie, 
amaaed the whole world, and was Charles's eq>ecaal &;vourite; and that 
amon^ the presents sent with it there was a costly tent, tc^gether with 
a clock made of brass with astonishing skill and ingenuity. This latter 
contained a hand or indicator moved round, during twelve hours, bv 
the power of water, together with an equal quantity of brass balls 
which, when the hours were completed, dropped into a bxaas cup 
placed beneath, by their &llindicating the hour, upon which mounted 
xniffhts, fully armed, according to the numb^ of houn, galloped 
forth from twelve windows — a work assuredly of great and extauot- 
dinaiy ingenuity for that period. Charles, on his part, made presents 
in return to the Persian ruler, of Spaniah harses, mules, and fresian 
mantles, which in the east were very rare and espenaive, and finally, 

* The ehnrdi of tiie Virgin IHarj and the imperial pahiee ave^ aa ftr-as^we Imom^ 
the fint extenaiTe buildingB fbanded by a Gtonon pnnoe. ChaxlflB's atnicfeiirea 
are baaed upon the Boman ityle of North Italy and South France, whenee he pro- 
cured Ills architects. The palace In Aiz-la*Ohiqiene haa, with tiieeacoeptioii of a 
&w zemaining stones, entirely disappearod, but St Mary's church stiU exists. 


irere a^ediolihede a xnmtber of dogs for Inmtmg the Hon and tiger, 

We have previoualj mentioned ms tfidendly connexion mth the 
emperor in Confltantinople, and his amicable xektians with the piinces 
of England and Sootkmd, by whom he was bighlj esteemed; and 
thus me impression of his personal greatness was reflected throughont 
the age in which he lived, as well m the descriptions ^ven bj those 
'rho were about him, as also in the veneration of distant nations. 
His own grandson, Nithard, who lias described the disputes of the 
MQs of Louis the Kous, says of him with great justice: ^' Charles, 
ja^j called by all nations the great emperor ; a man who by tcue 
insdom and virtue rises so high above the human race of his owoi 
age, that whilst he appears to all equally awe-stiiking and axoiable, 
is at the same time universally acknowledged to be wonderful and 

h the subsequent generations, still filled with -veneraidoii towards 
him, his figure became so eradiated by tradition and fiction, that, its 

Edcms appear gigantically magnified. Thus, for instance, in a 
of Low Germany he is described as follows: ^' The Emperor 
s was a handsome, tall, strong man, with powerful arms and 
1^: his &oe wras a span and a baU* long, and his beard a foot in 
kogtL His eyes, to those at whom he attentively looked^ appeared 
80 fan^ and searching, that the efieot there&om was to strilce with 
awe and terror; whilst his 8trenj?th was so mighty , that with one 
hand he could raise a fully-armed man above his head." 

Another ancient chromde says of his expedition against Desi- 
denoB: ^'When the Longcfbaruan kmg from bis castle in Pavia 
observed the entire body m the Franldsh army in full aaoarch against 
him, bos eye seardhed everywhere among the ranks to find the 
kiD^. At length the majestic monarch appeared to view, mounted 
on ms war-hotse (which both in durability and colour resembled 
in)n itself), with a brazen helmet on his head, his entire la% figure 
encased in i^on armour, and a shining breast^plate spread over lus 
chest. In his left hand he held his heavy iron spear, and his right 
grasped his masmve sword; and when at this moment Nosker, a noble, 
exiled by Charles, and who was standing near the King of the Lon- 
gohardians, pointed to him, and said, ^^ehold, O king, there is be 
whom thou hast sought,' Desiderhis almost fell to the sround in 
wonder and diead, faintly exclaiming, *Away, away! Let us 
^eEoend and bury ourselves in the earth irom the wrathful counte- 
i»Qoe of that terrible and mighty foe !' " 

As a testimony that the admiralion .excited by tmie greatness ex- 
^^ fiff b^ond the present and inomediately succeeding periods, 
Hid maintains its es^ation in all susceptible and glowing minds, 
e*<en to the latest aces, we vrill here quote the opinion of a modem 
writer* upon the oiaiaoter of the great Charles: " The whole ap- 

* K. Savexn: ** Abhandlung uber Karl der Grane." 

K 2 


pearance and bearing of the emperor evince the true and ominal 
model of his energetic age — ^full of manly, yet cheerful virtue. Com- 
bined with the exuberance of power, which remodelled an entire 
world, were united mildness and placidity, and with all his dignity 
and elevation, we find consorted, simplicity, purity of mind, and a 
profound and noble fire of feeling. The mixture of serenity and 
childlike mildness in his deportment was the mystery whereby he 
filled all at the same time with veneration and love; retaining in 
faithful adherence to him even those who had been severely provoked, 
so exquisitely shown by the act of the noble Frank, Isenbart, who, 
although deprived by Charles of all honours and possessions, be- 
came, nevertheless, the unexpected but sole saviour of his life when 
threatened with great danger. There lay in the tire of his piereing 
eye so much power, that a punishing glance prostrated the object, so 
that to him might be appUed the words of scripture : ' The king when 
he sits upon the throne of his majesty, chases by a glance of his coun- 
tenance every evil thing;' whilst in the thunder of his voice there was 
such force, that it struck to the earth whomsoever he addressed in an- 
ger. On the other hand, again, we find that his countenance reflected 
such unutterable pleasure and gladness, and his voice was so har- 
monious and of such delightful clearness, that a writer styles him 
the joyful king of the Germans, assuring us that he was always so 
full of grace and gentleness, that he who came before his presence in 
sorrowful mood, was by a mere look and a few words so completely 
changed, that he departed joyful and happy. In his countenance 
was reflected the full expression of a tranquil and clear mind, and in 
all these outlines of his character he is the perfect ideal of a true Ger- 
man hero and prince, worthy to be called, what he really was, the 
father and creator of the Germanic age, which he brought upon the 
stage of history, afler it had attained ripeness and perfection in the 
womb of humanity. It was not merely in his works and extenial 
creations that he founded the Germanic age, but its greatness and 
8imi)licity, its heroism m war and friendship in peace, were ingrafted 
in his profound soul entire I" 

We have already spoken of his friendship with Pope Adrian, 
founded on mutual esteem, and his paternal devotion to Einhard. 
But to none was he attached so aflectionately as to Angilbert, or 
Eni^lbert, a young man of noble family, who was his constant com- 

f anion in all his travels and campaigns, and to whom he confided 
is most important aflairs. Engelbert was an excellent poet, and 
for some time appointed prime minister in Italy; he then became 
Charles's private secretary, and likewise married his daughter 
Bertha, from which mamage descended the before-named histo- 
rian, Nithard. Charles was a reverential son to his mother Ber- 
trande, a faithful brother to his only sister Gisla, and of his consorts 
he chiefly loved the second, Hildegarde, who bore him his three sons, 
besides three daughters. He caused his children to have the best 
education, and he even dedicated much of his own time to them 


Willi paternal watchfxilness. His sons learnt not only all clilvabic 
acoompHshments, but studied also the sciences. The daug^hters were 
taught to work in wool, sewing, and spinning, according to the 
prevalent simple German custom. He never took his meals without 
nis children; they accompanied him in all his travels, his sons riding 
beside him, and his daughters following him. His heart was so at- 
tached to these, that he could never prevail upon himself to part 
with them. He superintended his domestic economy most care- 
fully. To him even, the legislator of an extensive empire^ it did 
not appear too trifling to overlook with prudent care his estates 
and farms, so that any father of a £sunily mi^ht have learnt from 
him how to regulate ms household affairs. Some of his laws are 
still extant, and therein we find especially indicated, how many of 
every description of domestic animals, and how many peacocks and 
pheasants shall be reared and maintained for ornament on his farms; 
as likewise how wine and beer were to be prepared, and how the 
cultivation of bees, fisheries, orchards, and plantations, was to be 

^' K Charles's general greatness impresses us with reverence and 
admiiadon,^' so says the modem historian of his life, ''this partici- 
Balion in the inferior concerns of life, not smothered by higher cares, 
biin^ him more closely in connexion with us; this especial care of 
the domestic hearth, so pecidiar to the genuine German, wherein he 
has grown up as the plant in the earth which bears and nourishes it, 
whiM his active power strives outwards into the world of deeds and 
works, and his bold mind soars towards heaven, as the plant shoots its 
blossom forth towards the sim.^' And in truth, Charles's mind was 
directed towards the light of truth ; he was animated with the love of 
the glorious and the beautiful, and planted both wherever he was able, 
and by all the means in his power.* He had formed with the wise 
EnglialiTnftT^^ Alcuin, and other learned men a scientific society, and he 
maintained vnth them a regular correspondence, which was rendered 
more free and intellectual, inasmuch as a happy idea from Alcuin ena- 
Ued it to be conducted without any interference with personal rela- 
tions. The communications were not made in the ordinary names of 
the members, but in those of adoption, in which Charles himself bore 
ihe name of Kiuff David, his iriend Engelbert that of Homer, Alcuin 
that of Horace, Eginhard that of Bezaleel, and the rest, other equally 
fidect names, whence the cheerfiil disposition of this union, breaking 
the restrictiTe chains of ordinary life, sufficiently displays itself. Its 
immediate purpose, besides the cultivation of both the ancient lan- 
guages, may possibly have been to reanimate and draw forth from its 
obficurity th^ ancient German language and its poetiy . Charles himself 

* At reguda the benefits produced by Charles's zeal for education and science, we 
&kd afacady that in the years 650 to 770, there were in Germany and France some 
tventy-aix writers, whilst in the years 770 to S50, there were ahready in Charles's 
ingdom more than one hundred. 


either sketched, or cauaed to be sketched, a German manmar, ga^e 
to the months and the seasons German names, and collected die abo- 
riginal songs, wherein were recited the noble deeds and ihe wars of 
ancient heroes (as formerly Lycurgus and Pisistratus collected the 
songs of Homer). But there is not a more a:fiecting trait of his own 
love for the sciences extant than that already rekted, when in ez« 
treme age he endeavoured carefully to accustom his once powet&l 
hand, which had been used only to wield the sword, to the practice of 
writing, and that even daring the sleepless hours of the nights And 
how &r he esteemed educated and scientific men is proved, besides the 
instancesalready cited, by htsexample shown towarai»tkeLongobaidian 
historian, Paul Diaconus. He was private secretary to King Deside- 
rius, and afber the ktter was conquered, the former participated in the 
subsequent revolt of the Lombards, upon which he was sentenced to 
have his hands chopped off. Charles, however, interfered and said, 
^^ If these hands are chopped off who will, like him^ be able to write 
us such charming histories ?" and accordingly he pardoned him. 
The learned Alcuin, already mentioned — in possessing whom at his 
court Charles felt more pride than in havings a kingdom — ^had been 
pseviously provost of the high school of York in Elngland, where 
almost all tiae learned men of that period had received their educa- 
tion and had imbibed their zeal for the science, and which contained 
one of the few then existing libraries of tiie west of Eluiope. Ja. 
793 he was induced bv the repeated entreaties of the king to go over 
to France, where he founded the celebrated school of Tours. Charles^ 
esteemed him so much that he called him his beloved instructor in 
Christ, and presented him as his friend to the grand imperial diet 
and church convocation at Frankfort. And Alcuin proved himsdf 
worthy of this honour, for when all,.fifom fear or doubt, were silent, 
he alone candidly told the king the truth. The coneroondenoe of 
Charles with Alcuin is worthy of high estimation, and of which, 
happily, we still possess a considerable portion. Charles, on his part^ 
there expresses the greatest respect and friendship fos Alcuin, and 
the latter is full of true aflfection, nay, at times, of insmration to- 
w^ards his king and friend. Charles's wife and his sons ana daughters, 
received insloruction from Alcuin, and he was styled by them aSl their 
master and &ther, he, on his part, calling them his sons and dai 

Combined with his anxiety lor the a^^rs of the church, Charles 
likewise, with proper foresight and penetration, felt deep interest £ac 
the instruction of the people; thence, wherever it was posinUe, he 
founded schools and investiga4»d their progress with great solicitude 
himself. It is related that he once entered the scho<d which was 
established at his own court, and examined the studies of the boys. 
The skilful he placed on his right and the unskilful on his left, 
and then it was found that the latter consisted chiefly of the sons of 
noble fiunilies. Charles then turned to the industrious class, praised 
them much, and assured them of his particular regard; the others he 
admonished and scolded severely, threatening them, notwitlistanding 


Boble descent, to leduce them to the lowest rank in the sehool 
imleffi they qieedily sepaired, by zealous industiy, the n^ligenoe 

The stady of the Latin tongue was especiaUy promoted by Charles 
for the sake of the church; but, at the same tmie, he acknowledged 
the Tahie ai the Greek language, as he proved by founding in Osna- 
burg a Greek schooL wl a royal decree adm'essed to all monas- 
teries, m whidi he exhorts them to apply themselyes to the sciences, 
be flays expressly, that he has been 1^ to make this exhortation, be- 
cause their conmiunications ^e written in such bad Latin. Another 
important result arising from the scientific labours of Charles and his 
foends, was the establishment of libraries in the chief schools. Al- 
odn laid the foundation of such a one in the school at Tours, by send>> 
ing scholais to York for the purpose of making copies from the books 
there, and thus ^' tran^lantmg the flowers of Britain to Franconia.'^ 
Ihis example was soon followed, the desire to possess books awoke, 
the office of extracting &om writings now became a favourite occu- 
pation and duty in the monasteries and schools, and indeed, we have 
to thank this industry of the copyists for what has been preserved to 
us ficom aneient times.* 

_ The BBcied dignity of divine wordiip concerned him much ; he gave 
himself padacular trouble to introduce a good psalmody, and caused 
ftr that purpose organ players and singers to come &om Italy; and 
at SoisMos and Metz he instituted singing schools. Besides this, he 
oidefed a number of good sermons by the Greek Others to be trans- 
lated into the Frankish tongue, and read to the people;! and ha 
made a gesaeal regulation, that sermons should be preached in the 
national wn^^nage, ror King Charles well knew that civil order re- 
posed i^pcm the rdigious and moral d%nity of the people, and with- 
OBt Tihidi it can have no solid basis. He eonsidiered church and 
^>te not as separated fix>m, or inimical to each other, but conceived 
tibat thqr both had one great aim, that of the ennoblement and ner- 
feelicm of mankind He, therefore, in his extensive empire, linJoed 
both these institutians stiU more closely together. 

Even under the earlier Frankish kings, the clei^ formed an 

* Afeabi took efpeckd pains to fiMrm and establish classes Ibr the imprcnement 
md peEfeedoo of writing. In Tours, Fulda, and Treves, particulAr and distinct 
bsBs vere appropriated for transcribers, provided with inscriptions, which impressed 
upon the mind the important duties of a writer. In &ct, the art of writing in hooks 
md aneient docooents appears, imder Charlei, to have undergone a change, conip 
plelei^ sadden^ in improvement. For, to the unsightly Merovingian style of italic 
ffcarartcr previously m use — even to the first years of Charies's reign — ^we find suc- 
oeding; as it were, with one spring, a fine and legible form of round hand, called 
tte CafoKogiMi mimiske], or neatfy reduced writing. This style became the bgiti* 
Me sonoe whence we derived all our present fbsms, both in writing and printing; 
i& Gennan as wdl as Latin. In the coins of the year 774, we likewise find msplayed 
B immvonent equally strikhig, thus showing that, even in nunor ohjecte, the 
ITwit rhnrict <mwafted ^f^ k^/^ rkm^, 

t He dincted Fiaulas XMaconus to prepare extracts from the Others, in the fonn 
^ a ceBpctkHi of homilies thrbughout the year. This collection, from the usual 
^oii^of tittpeoesy *« post ina," received, subsequently, the name postine. 


sential portion of the constitution of the kingdom. The bishops, 
as well as the dukes, participated in state affairs, and had a seat and 
voice in the national assembly. Charles made this a fixed piindple, 
and this raised the clerical body to rank as one of the orders of tlie 
state. The constitution had already now formed two of its chief 
orders, that of the clergy and nobility; the civil order, as the thiid 
component, did not yet exist ; later centuries brought it to perfection, 
and thereby completed the constitution of the state. But it was im- 
portant for that period, that the feudal nobility, which had already 
become too powerful, should receive a counterbalance in the clerical 
order, which must necessarily become the preservation of Chiiatiaii 
cultivation throughout Europe, and thereby unite Europe into one 
great whole. Besides, Charles felt himself sufficiently powerful to 
fear no misuse of such spiritual influence in his realms. Although he 
increased the possessions and the consideration of the clergy, he yet 
maintained his imperial power so much above them, that his quick 
eye was everywhere feared, so much so, that one of his histoiians 
calls him the bishop of bishops. 

We frequently find in his decrees reproaches made against the 
clergy, when they commenced exceeding the limits of their power, 
and many of his laws generally allude to an ameliorated state of dis- 
cipline amongst the ecclesiastical body, to a restraint being put to 
their worldliness, and commanding them to perform the duties of thdi 
office with zeal and activity. In tact, he may be regarded as the true 
reformer of the clergy, especially when we refer to the condition of 
that body under the Merovingians. Of the tithes which were to be 
paid to the church, he appointed for the bishops one fourth, for the 
inferior clergy one fourth , tor the poor one fourth, and for the diurch it- 
self one fourth, especially towards the building of fresh edifices. And 
as these taxes were altogether hateful alike both to the Franks and 
Saxons, he at once set the example himself of subscribing to them, 
by having them levied equally upon the royal estates. They were 
rendered less obnoxious and more moderate likewise by his subse- 
quent decrees, that all church offices, such as baptisms, communions, 
and burials, should be performed ^atuitously. 

With respect to the administration of the state, Charles dispensed 
with the power of the grand dukes as governors of entire provinces, and 
divided the latter into smaller districts, causing them to be ruled by 
counts, whose chief occupation was the superintendence of the judi- 
cial office ; but the dignity of coimt was not hereditary. The dukw, 
whom he himself appointed, were merely his lieutenant-generals in 
war and leaders of the arriere ban of a province. Besides which he 
despatched, as often as he thought it necessary, royal envoys (missi 
regii) into the provinces, who mspected their condition, and eaffl- 
mm^ how they were governed, and were obliged to draw up writ- 
ten reports thereof These envoys consiBted generally of a bishop 
and a count, as the proceedings of the spiritual as well as tempoial 
administrators were to be examined at the same time. The distnct 


of a Missus was called Missaticum. When any person believed 
lie had experienced an avoidance in law from the count, he could 
appeal to tne Mis8us; and again from this there was an appeal to the 
Comes palata. The appointment of the judges in the courts was re- 
moved from the power of the counts by Chailes, and transferred to 
ikt Missus, 

He expressly and earnestly exhorted all his officials, and par- 
ticularly the judges, to the fulfilment of their duties, as in fact the 
^rand endeavour, shown throughout his entire government, had for 
Its object the improvement of the administration of justice, and es- 
pedaUy the protection of the poorer classes and the common free peo- 
ple, against the pressure of the higher ranks. It seemed as if in the lat- 
ter period of his reign he had more and more perceived the danger 
wim which the common freedom of his subjects was threatened by the 
feudal system. All administration of justice, however, was in vain. 
He was forced himself to attend in person, twice in the year, national 
assemblies or diets, the one in spring, called the May field {Campus 
Madius) in which the king, with his estates, gave the decisions; the 
other in autumn, composed of the most distinguished of his nobles and 
confidential fiiends, with whom he legulated the most urgent mat- 
ters, and prepared those affairs to be setUed at the ensuing May meet- 
ing. The regulations made at these diets, particularly those passed in- 
the Spring meetings, which, after their division into chapters, became 
known under the name of capitulars^ produced for the entire king- 
dom a great combining power. 

The envoys, each in tneir division, called together the communi- 
ties four times every year, who, besides attending to their own 
otters, had to approve and confirm the resolutions passed at the 
gnnd assemblies, if they concerned the interests of the people: so 
nttle power had the king and his nobles to affect or alter their rights. 
Thus by means of all these institutions Charles, who was stiU greater 
as a le^alator than a warrior, was enabled to keep in order without 
gunsons and a standing army, all the people subjected to obedience, 
as weQ as his whole extensive empire, although composed of such a 
^ety of nations. He himself remained within the boundaries of 
the constitution, honoured the laws, listened willingly to the' voice 
of his people, and showed in every thing, but especialljr in this, his 
noble genius and magnanimity, and the dignified superiority of his- 




Louis the Pious, 8 U-840— Division of the Empire among his Sons, Louis, Lothaiie, 
and Charles the Bald, 843— The German Sovereigns of the Race of the Cario- 

' Tmgians, 848 -9 11— Louis, or Ludwij;, the German— Charles the Fat— Amulf— 
Louis the Child— The later and ooochiding Period of the CaroUngiaiis— Comnd L 
of Enmconia, 911-918. 

After the laoe of the Carolingians had produced conseeudyely 
four great men — a rare occurrence in history — its energy seemed to 
become exhausted. Louis the Pious did not resemble msanoestois. 
However^ his personal appearance was by no means i nflignific a n t, for 
be is described as well made, with a prepossessing countenance, of a 
BtEong frame, and so well practised in archery and the Yielding of 
the knee, that none about him equalled him. But he was weak in 
mind and will, and his by-name, ^' the Pious," impUes not only that 
lie was religious, but principally that he was so easy tem{)«red, that 
it required muck to displease mm. A ruler of this desrapdon was 
not adapted to hold in union the vaet empire of his fiuther ; neverthe^ 
less, the chief misfortunes of his whole life arose solely fiom his own 

Ue had three sons by the first maniage, Lothaioe, Pepin, and 
Louis; and he very early divided his empire between these tibree, re- 
taining for himself nothing but the title of emperor. He, howeTsr, 
soon afberwajds e^oused as second consort, Judith, of the fimuly of 
the Guelfi, who bore to him his fourth son, Charles, and was a proud, 
anbitious woman, who would wiUin^y have transferred all to her 
own child. Upon her pessuasion. Louis was induced to take a jration 
of the countries from his other sons, and give it to ChaHes. Where- 
i:^n open war arose between the emperor and his childieiit who 
took their &ther twice prisoner. The last tune it oceuxred was neasGol- 
mar, in Alsace, and because most of the nobles of Louis's suite, who 
had sworn aUegsance tohim, passed over to his sons, the pkoehas re* 
tained the name of Liigenfeld, or the Field of Lies. Thegood-natoied 
Louis, turning to those who remained still with him, said, ^^ Groye,.also, 
to my sons ; I will not allow that even a single individual lose, on my ao* 
cotmt, life or limb." They wept and departed, and Louis fdl again into 
the hands of his sons. Lothaire, who was the worst among them, had 
him conveyed to a cloister at Soissons in France, and urged him so 
incessantly, until he at last resolved to do public penance in the 
chapel. Lothaire's object in this was, that his father might thereby 
be made incompetent to take arms, for it was ordained by the 
canon law, that any one who had done penance was rendered inca- 
pable of bearing arms, and the Franks could not endure among them 
a king mthout a sword. 

The pious Louis, who was easily persuaded that his own sins were 
ihe cause of all his misfortunes, absolutely allowed himself to be 
conducted into the chapel of the monastery, and after he had been 


digested of his sword and militazj accoutrements,, he was clothed in 
a asdc of penance, and was forced to read a pi^per aloud, whereon 
his aoa and his accomplices had inscribed all nis sins, dius: ^' That 
lie had imw(vthily filled his office, fipequentlr o£&nded God, vexed 
die chareh, was a peijuier, the originator of dissensions and torbu- 
lenees, and, at last, nad even wished to make war upon his sons." And. 
wlulst he made this confession, the deisj, consisting of t^e Arch- 
bishop Ebbo, of Rheims, whom Louis himself had raised fironr 
a servitor to an archbishop, and with him thirty bishops, spread out 
their hands over him, and chanted penitential psalms ; Lothaire 
himself sitting dose by upon a throne, and feasting his ^es upon the 
degradation of his &tner, who was immediately anerwanis led awav 
in the gannent of repentance, and immured within a solitary cell,, 
where he was left to remain, without any consolation. 

This misnsage of the emperor enraged his son, Louis of BaTaiia, 
who was afterwards called Ludwi^ the German, and who was the best 
of the sons; he conferred with his brother Pepin, and they fiirced: 
L>tha]re to emancipate their &ther, who was formally absmved hy 
the biahopSy and received froin, &eir hands his sword and aocontr&> 
meats hack again. 

But hismimbrtunes had. not made him wiser, fer, on the contBary, 
he allowed himself to he immediately persuaded by Judith to pieter 
his son Oiarles before the rest, and to give him his most beautir 
All countries, causing him to be ciowned King of Neustria. He 
treated his best son, Louis, the worst, who consequently, in his irri- 
tation, aeiaed arms against his father, and the old king could nowhere; 
find a tnmquil spot ks his deatlirbed; for, as he was proceeding to 
Wonas, to hold a diet liiei» against his souy and was iust passing 
over the Rhine, near Mentz, he suddenly felt his quichuy-appDoach* 
ngend. He remained upon an island of the Rhine, near Ingelheim, 
erased a tent to be there pitched for him, and sank down upon his 
^etdhbed. He pardoned nis son before hb deadi, in these wonlsr 
"As he cannot come to me to offer sads&ctaon, I acquit myself thna 
towanb him^ and take God and all of you to witness, 1^ I fergire 
liim every tliia^. But it will be your office to renaind him, that 
sUiQfogh I have so often paxdonea him, he most not &r^ that he 
W broaght the grey hairs of his &ther to the grave in bitter grief." 
Ihus died^ in the year 840, Kmg' Louis^ who was of a kind dis- 
poQtion, bat whose Ufe was one continued scene of trouble and 
sffic&m, because he knew not how to goyem his own house, 
iBQeh less his empire. 

The most celebrated acts of hk life oonost in the foundation of two 
i^gious institutionB; viz., the monastery of Corvey, and the arch- 
l*bo{«ie of Hambuiqg. The first originated £rom tke cloister of the 
^*Be name, at Amiens in France. It was hither that Charlemagne 
<>|Bed many of the imprisoned Saxons to be brou^t, liiat tney 
night be instmcted in the Christian religion^ and become thereby 
% fiilBie teachers of their feUow-countrymen in the same doo- 
tbaea. Lou the Pious caosed a rdigioos colony of tliese Saxons to 


eettle in their native country, on the Weser, and he commenced 
building the new monastery as early as the year 815. It was com- 
pleted in 822, and the abbey was enriched with many crown endow- 
ments. It speedily became the best school for education in that country. 

Louis foimded the archbishopric of Hamburg in 832, principally 
for the conversion of the heathens of the north. The first bishop was 
Ansgar, {torn the abbey of Corvey, one of the most zealous propa- 
gators of the Christian religion, and who had already taugnt the 
doctrine in Denmark and Sweden. But Hamburg, imfortunatcly, 
was destroyed by the Romans, in 845, on which account the arcn- 
bishopric was transferred to Bremen. 

The brothers, who had not hesitated to take up arms against 
their own father, could much less lemain united amon^ themselves. 
In particular, Lothaire assumed, as emperor, great privileges over 
his brothers. Louis and Charles, Pepin being already dead, conse- 
quently armed themselves against him; and as he would not agree 
to a treaty of peace, a battle was fought in 841, near Fontenay, in 
France. It was very sanguinary; forty thousand, according to 
others a hundred thousand, men were left on the field. Lothaire 
was conquered, and his great pretensions were thus dissipated, and 
in consequence, in the course of two years, an important treaty took 
place, wnich divided the great Franlosh empire, and separated Ger- 
many for ever firom France. This is called the treaty of Verdun, 
concluded on the 11th of August, 843. 

1. Louis received Germany as far as the Bbine; and across the 
Rhine, Mentz, Spires, and Worms, for the sake of the culture of the 
vine (propter vim copiam), as it is said in the original record. Thus 
were united all the countries wherein a pure German race, unmixed 
with the Romans, had remained, and the Grermans may consider 
the treaty of Verdun as a ^eat national benefit. For had that 
country remained united with France, and had the king made 
Paris, perhaps, the metropolis, or even changed about in the chief 
cities of that coimtry, it is probable that, in the course of time, a 
ruinous mixture of the German and French languages, manners, modes 
of life, and idiosyncracies of the two nations would have taken place. 

2. Lothaire retained the imperial dignity and Italy, and acquired 
besides, a long narrow strip of land between Germany and France, 
firom the Alps as far as the Netherlands, namely, the country of 
Valais and Vaud in Switzerland, the south-east of France, as far as 
the Rhone; and on the left bank of the Rhinei Alsace, and the 
districts of ihe Moselle, Meuse^ and Scheldt. This long and narrow 
strip between the two other brothers was probably apportioned to 
the emperor that he might be near them both, and that according to 
the wiah of the &ther and grandfather, the imperial control mi^ht 
tend to preserve the unity of the whole. It liKewise seemed that 
Italy and the ancient city of Rome, as well as ancient Austrasia, 
namely, the Rhenisli districts, which Charlemagne had selected for 
his residence, with his capital, Aix-la-Chapelle, were not separable 
fiom the imperial dignity. But although Lothaire received b^utiful 


andproductiTepToyinoes, yet his portion was the weakest, for his empire 
on mis aide of we Alf3 had no natural fix)ntiers, either in mountains 
or in a distinct national race. The inhabitants of his countries on the 
Khone and down the Rhine were composed of very different tribes; 
thence as there was no natural necessity for this division of coun- 
tries, it was merely produced by hiunan caprice, consequently, there 
was no durability in it. On the contrary, it became the source of great 
misfortune. AAex the Emperor Lothaire, pursued as it were by the 
spirit of his injured father, against whom he had chiefly offended, had 
laid down the sceptre and retired into a convent, where he died in 862, 
his three sons took up arms in contest for the land, and divided it 
among themselves; but neither of them transmitted it to his descend* 
ants. The countries of Burgundy, Alsace, and the province of Lor- 
raine proper, which Lothaire 11. had received, and which had irom 
him received its name was, after his early death, divided by his two 
uncles, Louis the German, and the French king^ Charles; so that 
the land to the east of the Meuse, with the cities of Utrecht, Aix-la- 
Chapelle, Li^ge, Metz, Treves, Cologne, Strasburg, Basle, &c., fell 
to Germany. But this division did not terminate the dispute for the 
Lomine inheritance, for it has remained through every century 
a bone of contention between the Grermans and the French, and many 
sangninary wars have taken place in consequence. 

3. Charles the Bald, received lastly, the western division of the 
whole Frankish kingdom, and whicn has continued to preserve its 

Lonis the German (840 — 876), who was an energetic prince, of lofty 
stature and noble figure, with a fiery eye and a penetrating mind, and 
who also possessed an active disposition for education and science 
(which the schools of eloquence that he founded at Frankfort and 
Satisbonnehave proved), had constantly tocontendforthe tranquillity 
of his realm; for the Slavonian tribes made incursions on the eastern 
bonders, and the Normans on the north and north-west. These bold 
aaOon. of luudent Geiman origin, ^rild as theii sea and ito northern 
coasts, coming from the Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish waters, 
appeared with the rapidity of the wind, at the mouths of the rivers, 
«nd frequently advanced deep into the country. They ascended the 
Seine as fiir as Paris, flew along the Garonne to Toulouse, and sailed 
up the Rhine to Cologne and Bonn. And it was not the banks merely 
of these rivers which suffered fix>m their devastations, but they knew 
^Iso how to convey their vessels many thousand paces across the 
coimtiy into other rivers, so that no place afforded security against 
them. So ^reat was the terror of their name, that the mere report 
rf their coimng drove to flight all before them. Their numbers were 
generally smaU, for a fleet of the small ships of that period could not 
convey large armies; but their courage, as well as their strength of 
Wy and tneir weapons, testified to their true northern origin ; whiLrt 
^ wielding the powerM spear, no race equalled them. A few ships, 
^**Mied with valiant men, formed frequently the equipment of their 
^prbces; andas in ancient Germany, a noble leader with his com- 


pnoy, in bold exoniBioiifl, acqiUFed honour and booty, and with ias 
mofee, even contesled for the poBBegsion of a ^ole oountiy; bo, on 
the other hand, the squadron of the bold sea-hero, manned ^rith 
-warlike and pillage-seeking adventurers, was the source of his licheB, 
fanning ofi^ the moving basis upon vrhich he erected his king- 
dom, it was thus they lounded smiilar kingdoms in Nonnand^, 
France, Sicily, and in Russia. Louis the German succeeded m 
protecting his kingdom against them, and against the Slavonians, 
out not so his son, Louis the Fat (876--*B87), who, after the death 
of his brothers, Garloman and Louis, by the intervention of parliou- 
lar Gircamstances, again united for a short time the three portions of 
the Frankish empire, in Italy, Grermany, and France. -In France, 
there was a minor king, Charles the Simple, six years of age, for 
'whom he was to have protected the country against the Normans; 
but not possessing the qualifications necessary, this he was not aUe 
.to do, and thence he was forced twice to purchase peace from tbem 
•at the price of many pounds of gold: the first time when they had 
advanced upon the Meuse as far as Hasloff, and the second time 
when, with 700 vessels, they had ascended the Seine as £u* as Paris 
itself^ and dosely besieged that city. Such cowardly conduct, and 
the weakness of nis whole goveounent, brought him into contempt, 
and was the cause which produced his formal deposition, in a great 
and national assembly held at Tribur in the year 887. To his great 
good fortune, he died the following year. 

In Germany he was succeeded (887 — 899) by Amulf, a son of 
his brother Garloman, consequently a grandson of Louis the Ger- 
jnan, a valiant and worthy king. He beat the Normans at Louvain, 
in the Netherlands, where they had erected a fortified camp, wlu(^ 
victory made him very celebrated, for those Normans fermed the 
most valiant race of the north, and had never previously been known 
to fly before an enemy.* 

Amulf now marched also into Itdy to bring that disunited coun- 
try-^where many pretenders contested for supremacy^--again under 
German dotninion. He advanced, in 896, as far as Kome; bot his 
army had been so much weakened by sickness and foul weather, 
that he dared not attempt to attack the strong walls of the city, and 
was about to turn back. Upon this, the Romans hooted and in- 
sulted the Germans so grossly, liiat, without awaiting the word of 

* About this time, in the south-eaatem frontiera of Qennanj, a Slayonic piinoe, 
Zwentibolt, had established a considerable dominion in Moravia. In order to gain 
his fHendship, Amulf gave him the yacant Duchy of Bohenua as a fid; and choie 
him as godfother to his son, whom he named after him. But the Moravisn prisoe 
became unruljr, and stroye for independence; and Aznulf soon saw himself entan^ 
in a severe war against him. In order, therefore, to gain allies, he had recourse to 
the Magyan, who rose against -ZwentiboH;, and, fi&lUng upon Moravia, complete 
overthiew his dominion, and estabUshed themselTes there instead, whilst the iste 
ruler withdrew, and sought reftige in a monastery. Amulf, in order to eartend the 
power of his house, now took advantage of some ftvonrable circumstances presented 
in Iiomd]ie,jn order to preooxie for his son, Zwentibolt, the duchy of that countiy. 
In this he soooeeded, after several encounters with the nobility; and in 695 his son 
took the title of king, but he held it but for a short time, being soon afterwards killed 
In a battle agahist his tsmmIs, immediately after the death of his fother. 


oommaiid, they tamed 'back, advanced, and, afcanmng the gates, 
filled llie ditches, mouirted ihe "walls, and carried lahe ci^. The 
Roman people wete obliged to swear fidelity to Imn. iBat they 
knew not how to observe the oath th^ took; and as th^ had not 
been able to oveicome the powerful Gmnans by open force, they had 
recoBiee to poison; thence Amulf was, mostprobably, secretly dragged 
by them, for he letumed ill to Germany, and diea, after a long sick- 
ness, in the year 899, much too early for his kingdom, and mourned 
by all Germans; for he was yet young, and Germany never more 
than at that moment lec^uired his powerful arm. 

A new savage tribe, m ferocily equal to the ancient Hunns, bad 
now fixed themselves in Hungary, and extended their incursions to 
GeimanT* ^^^^7 "^^^ properly called Madschari or Magyars, and 
belonged to the Calmuc race of the Asiatic wanderezs, but tney wece 
called Hum^ (also Hungarians, after the country they henceforwaord 
occupied), because it was then customary to call all thosetribes Hunns 
who were sarage and terrible to behold, and who came irom the 
east. They also, like the former Hunns, lived always on horse-back, 
and suddenly appeared where they were not awaited. They unex- 
pectedly sttaakcA, and as suddenly fied, and in flying they always shot 
their arrows backwards, and turned quickly round when all was con- 
sidered safe. They shot their arrows from bows, formed of bone, 
with so much force and precision, that it was scarcely possible to 
avoid them; but they were ignorant of the art of fighting at close 
quarteiB, or of besieging cities. They were small in stature, ugly in 
countenasioe, with deep sunken eyes, of barbaric manners, and vnAi 
a coone and discordant language; so that an ancient writer wbo 
lived at that period, says : *' We must be astonished that Divine Pro- 
videnoe fihoaid have given so delightful a country to be inhabited 
— not 1^ such men, but by such monsters ia human shape !" 

These terrific enemies desolated in an unheard-of manner the 
German countries, during the period when Amulf 's son, Louis the 
Child, who was still a minor, was called King of Germany £:om the 
year 890^911. These were probably the most miserable years that 
Germany had ever witnessed. Widi almost every year these Hun- 
garians suddenly precipitated themselves- in masses upon one or 
other of the provinces, desolated it with fire and sword, and drove 
thousands m the inhabitants back with them as slaves, whilst the 
Gemums, valiant as they were, knew not the mode of conducting 
such a war, and could not defend themselves; besides which, they 
posaessed aa yet no walled towns wherein they mi^t have shel- 
tered their wives and children. Bavaria was first attacked by 
tiiem, and made a prey to their devastations, and aU ishe court and 
BoidflB cut to pieces. The following years the some happened to 
Eexony and Ijraringia, and the two concluding years Franconia 
*ad Suabia wero in turn devastated. The words of Solomon nmy 
be applied to these honors of Germany.: ^ Woe to the coimtry 
-whose king is a child." But, fcortonoteVfor the salvation ^of his owm 
and other countri^, this duld aow^diea'carfy rnithftjear J911. 


After the race of the Carollngians, which had commenoed witb 
80 much lustre, became extinct in Grermany, it still existed a shott 
time longer, although but weak, and without any power or audio- 
rity in France; it soon, however, disappeared there also — ^like a tor- 
rent which at first springs forth majestically, and dashes down ail 
before it, but at last dividing itself into various isolated arms, its 
power b^mes reduced, and gradually absorbed by the sand. 

Meanwhile in Grermany much had become changed that proved of 
great importance to futurity. Charles the Great, as we have seen, 
made the royal power superior to all other; he did away with the 
great dukes' reigning over entire provinces, and substituted royal 
officials, with smaller circuits of government; and had his suocessois 
followed his example in this, the system might have been established 
in Germany, as it was in France and other coimtries — ^namely, that 
but one loid should rule with unlimited power throughout the 
whole empire, and no prince besides. But fate ordered it other- 
wise, and caused many rulers to spring up among us, which has 
given an impulse to the development and cultivation of tlie Grerman 
mind, and has been only then not dangerous to the countiy with 
respect to its exterior relations, when all who called themselves Ger- 
mans held together in love and unity, and in that disposition con- 
stituted a firm and solid German empire. 

The foundation of this polygarchy , or division of dominions, may 
be traced chieflj to the times subsequent to the treaty of Verdun. 
On almost all sides formidable enemies threatened the frontiers: the 
Hungarians, the Slavonians, the Yenedians, and the Normans. The 
kings themselves were unfortunately too weak, and unable, like 
Charlemagne, to fly with assistance firom one end of the realm to 
the other. They were therefore obliged to permit and authoriie 
the German tribes, for the defence of the fiN>ntiers, to choose 
powerful chiefs raised among themselves, who continued to remam 
at the head of their troops, and led them against the enemy. The 
efibrts made to establish a fresh foundation for the ducal power, be- 
comes more and more visible in the last moiety of the ninth oentunr 
and very soon we find the royal Missi or Margraves, together with 
other proprietors of land, and influential men, raising themselves to 
the ducal dignity. 

It lies in me nature of things, that the development of these rela- 
tions could not be everywhere the same. We find oflen the go- 
vernor of a province stiU called in the old records Graf (Comes), 
because he already possessed more of the ducal power than in 
another province was commanded by him who was ordinarily styled 
Dux. All research made into this subject is extremely difficult, 
and opinions thereupon are even yet not united. Thus much is 
certain, that if we consider and acknowledge in general those 
governors as owners of the ducal power, who poss^ed an over- 
balancing influence in their provinces, and who represented the 
Hi^ himigelf in war, and in the highest courts of jurisdiction, we 
find that, at the end of the ninth and commencement of the tenth 


oentuiy, the7 again appear, and gradually became dukes of Saxony, 
Thuiingia, Fianconia, Bavaria, Swabia, and Lorraine. 

In Saxony, the Ludolpliic race, as it appears, acquired at a very 
early date a power which we may call ducaL Eckbert, related to the 
hooae of Charlemagne, was placed by the latter at the head of all 
the Saxons between the Khine and Vistula, as count and chief 
of the heerbann; his son Ludolph held also this rank, and pos- 
sessed, in effect, abeady ducal power. His son Bruno, and, after 
his death, in 880, Otho, the fatner of King Henry, must be con- 
ridered in every sense as dukes. Saxony became, by degrees, the 
most powerful and extensive duchy, for it embraced, at the time of 
its greatest development, the country from the Lower Rhine to the 
Oder, and from the North Sea and the Eider to the Fichtel moun- 
tains and the Wetterau. 

Thuiinsia bad, it is true, counts also, who at times were called 
heiaoge (duces limitis Sorabici); but their power, owing to the fre- 
quent chaises occurring among the owners, did not completely 
K)nn itaelf into a ducal power. Burchard, whom we find mentioned 
as duke, fell in 908, against the Hungarians; his power was trans- 
ferred to Otho of Saxony, who already possessed a province giving 
Hm the title of count (Gfaugrafschaft) m the northern part of Thu- 
zin^a. King Heniy retained Thuringia united with his duchy. 

In Franconia, which besides the ancient Frankish land on the 
Lower Rhine, comprised likewise Hessia and the countries of the 
Central Rhine, the title of duke could not otherwise appear then 
mtich later, because the country, as long as the kings continued of 
the Frankish family, was consia<^:ed kings' land; still the administra- 
tion of the coimtiy was performed by powerful counts, and two 
^unifies, the Babenbergenans in the eastern, and the Conradinians 
at Worms, in the western part, divided the, power, until they broke 
oat into a deadly dispute and fight, in which the former were com- 
pletely defeated. Coimt Conrad, soon afterwards King Conrad I., 
hecame, therefore, potentissimus comes in Franconia, and possessed 
in reality ducal power. Widukind styles him likewise Duke of the 
Franks, although he, as well as his brother Eberhard, is called by 
othen also comes. It cannot, however, be doubted but that under 
Heniy I. Eberhard possessed the ducal dignity. 

In Bavaria, Luitpold^ who had to defend the eastern frontiers 
against the Slavonians and Hungarians, is styled dux in a diploma 
w King Louis, of the year 901, and his son Amulf calls himself duke 
in the year 908. 

In Swabia, where the defence of the frontiers was not so necessary, 
the ducal dignity appears to have connected itself gradually with the 
power of the royal missus, and to have developed itself later. Bur- 
chard, however, under Conrad I. appears nevertheless as Duke of 

In Lorraine finally, it became more easy to the nobles of the land 



W means of its doubtfixl aaid critical pootioa between Fiance and 
d-ermanj in the later Caxolingian period, to Tnaintain a state ot 
greater indgpaidenoey and we thus find upon record already in the 
year 901 a Duke Kebeharti and later, under King Henry, the Duke 

The dukes were not, it is true, regarded as lords of ihdr people 
and lands, but as ministers and representatives of their king, in whose 
name they regulated in peace the affidrs of justice and order, and 
in war led the army of their race to battle. But soon becoming 
large landed proprietors, and being no longer under the sorveit 
lance of royal envoys, the dukes took advantage of ibe weakneai 
of the kin^, and by degrees arrogated to themselTes an increase of 
power, and brought the lesser vs^sals under their dominion; nay, 
they even gradiuJly made their dignity, granted to them, only as 
imperial crown officers, hereditary in their fiunilies, as well as the 
revenues of the crown lands, which they had only received as the 
salary for their service. 

Luce the great dukes, the inferior imperial <^cez8, the counts, 
margraves, and others, established themselves more and more firmly 
in their dignities, and the estates attached thereta The spiritiiu 
lords, archbishops, bishops, and abbots, were, like the temporal lords, 
members and vassals of the empire, and like them augmented thdr 
secular power and possessions; and all these became by d^rees 
fix>m the mere deputies of royal authority , independent princes of 
the German nation. 

Besides this, in some individuals, the love of freedom and per- 
sonal independence began already, as early as this period, to dege- 
nerate often into licence. He who thou^t himself offended by 
another, and conceived he possessed sufficient strength to revenge 
himself, did not seek the establishmfsnt of his rights in the usual 
way, namely, through the judges of the land, but with arms and die 
strength of the fist. Thence that period wherein the appeal to the 
fist was so generally adopted, was called the period cttbefaust-retAiy 
the fist or club law. It commenced, already, under the later Garolin- 
gians, but it was long afterwards that it reached its hidiest extent. 

The evil became necessarily great, for the manners of tne nation were 
still rude. Arms and the chace remained their fiivourite occupations, 
and the sword and the &lcon were the greatest treasures of the Ger- 
man. He could calmly see all taken from him, says an author, bat 
if his sword and falcon came into any danger, he would not h esi t ate 
to save them even with a false oath. The hunting f^tes were superb, 
and were included among the hidiest festivities oflife. Ladies, firom 
gorgeously ornamented tents, beheld the destruction of the game. In 
the evening they feasted under tents in the forest, and the company, 
with their suites, returned amidst the music of the hunting horns. 
For the sake of the chace, the kings and nobles preferred remaining 
at their country seats, and on this account for along time, deposed 
dwelling iu cities. 


Dmiiig ilie lata: paniod of the Carolingians, besides the "wars 
within md bejood the land, wfaich iliej so much desolated, what 
was greatly to be deplored was, that the germs of cultivation which 
CbaSeeaagDe, in his exertions lor science, had planted in his schools 
for instruction, became ^ain almost entirely destroyed. No period in 
the whcJe histoiy of Germany is darker, more superstitious and igno- 
rant, than that of Louis the German, to the end of the CSarolingian dy- 
nasty, and a short time beyond it— deq>ite of the Germans being, from 
time imman<»ial, so susceptible of cmtivation, and by their serious 
^{£cation and profound xneditation so well adapted for the acquire- 
mentof art and sciaioe. An example of this is to be found even in 
that dark age. In the days of Pqpm and Charlemagne the first <^- 
gaps were brought to Germany from Greece, and Charles took everj 
pains to introduce the Latin psalmody and church music among his 
sabjedaL At first he had butiittle success; at least an Italian of that 
time eom^bins that their natural rudeness was their great obstruc- 
tion: ** Great in body like mountaros," says he, '^ their voice rolls 
fi>rth like lihunder, and cannot be modulated into ^ntler tones; and 
when their barbaric throats oideavour gently to produce the soft tran- 
sidoDS and flexibilities of the music, the hard tones pour fort^ their vo- 
lume in a rattling soimd, like acoach rolling over the stones, so that the 
feelings of the hearer, which ^ould be gently moved, are, on the 
oontzaiy, e(Mnpletely startled and terrified.'' Thus was pronounced 
onginauy a criticism upon their disposition and qualification for har- 
mony. And yet by industry and exercise they advanced so &r in a 
shoit time, tliat Pope John VIII., who livai about the year 870, 
besoudiit Anthony, bishop of Freisingen, to send him a good organ 
from Uennany, and with it a person who was equally well able to 
/^ upon a. to make it . 

UL uiB century a pupil of Rhabanus Maurus, the monk Otfiied of 
TTeisBenburg, gave a veir remarkable example of his love for his 
mother-tongue, by translating the gospel' into German verse, in 
order that the people might be enabled to read it. Charlemagne 
had, indeed, commenced to improve and cultivate the German lan- 
guage, but after him no one thought further about it. Otfried now 
aealoosly endeavoured to ncuike it a written language, although it 
was very difficult to express by letters its hard and strange sounds. 
He strongly and justly contended asainst those who, induferent to- 
wards their native-tongue, preferred learning, with excessive labour, 
and using the languages of the Latins and Greeks. *' They call the 
German language," he says, *' boorish, and vet do not endeavour by 
their mituics or study to make it more pertect. They carefully avoid 
writing badfy in Latin and Greek, and yet do not care for doing so 
in their own language; they axe ashamed to offend against good 
ta^ by even a letter in those kngua^, but in their own tongue it 
happens with every word. Truly a singular fact this, that such great 
md learned men do aU this for the honour of foreign languages, and 
yet canxiot even write their own !" 

L 2 


The condition of the common freemen was the saddest of all in 
these times, and the^, consequently, decreased so much that they 
scarcely formed a distinct order in the nation. Much earlier, 
already when the feudal system gradually developed itself, and ele- 
Tated the vassals above all those who cultivated their own inhen^ 
ance, their numbers had decreased considerably, but the worst time 
came after Charlemagne. 

Charles knew well that the stren^h of a nation consists in the great 
preponderance of freemen, and tnat it is upon their courage and 
their animated love for their country that must depend the general 
weal and its security from all dan^r ; he therefore applied great caie 
and vigilance to the restoration of the arri^reban, which had also by 
the influence of the feudal system fallen into disuse. In this, how- 
ever, he attained his aim but partially, because his wars, far fix)ni 
being real national wars, for the defence of the country, were only 
conquering excursions in distant countries. These were very op- 
pressive to the common man, who, &om the day that the army 
stepped upon the land of the enemy, was obliged to provide himseU^ 
at his own expense, for three montns with provisions, as well as with 
clothes and arms. Many, therefore, endeavoured to avoid the duties 
of this servile military service. They gave themselves up both in 
body and possessions to the service or guardianship of the churcli, 
or to the patronage of a noble, either as arriere or under vassals, be- 
cause, as such, they were not bound to yield so much service as to 
the king in the arriere ban, or even as bondmen, and as such no 
longer belonging to the class of freemen. They were called tbe 
Lidi (Leute, people) of the seigneur, and remained, it is true, the 
possessors of tneir own inheritance, which they themselves cultivated, 
but they were subject to pay tax, and were held in soocage, and 
could neither quit the land nor sell it; but with their children and 
descendants they were bound to the soil, and were the property of 
their lord. This was severe; but they were at the same time ex- 
empted from doing any military service in distant expeditions; for, 
as bondsmen, thej were not considered worthy of bearing arms, but 
remained all their lives in tranquillity with tneir families. At the 
most they were only obligated, under the most urgent circumstances, 
to repair to a short distance, within the immediate vicinity of their ter- 
ritory, there to fight, on foot, with stick or club; the lance and sword 
being forbidden to them. Had they rightly considered that men 
who are not allowed to bear arms, also speedily lose both courage 
and power, and if they are not absolutely called slaves, soon adopt 
slavish sentiments, they would, no doubt, much rather have remained 
poor and oppressed, but still fireemen and warriors; but, alas ! in ne- 
cessity the nearest and most immediate aid appears the best to him 
who suffers, and the eye loses the power of perceiving the distant 

Besides the oppressive service of the arriere ban, which brought 
many freemen into slavery, there were other causes which contribu- 
ted to decrease their numbers, among which may be classed the ter- 


nfic incuiaions of the Avari, the Normans, the Slavonians, and 
Hungarians, in which thousands of them were killed or carried off 
as slaves; and later, the disorders and oppressions ofiiiefaust-recht, or 
dab-Iaw, which likewise obliged many of the poor freemen to give 
themselves up to the service of some neighbourinff powerful noble, to 
secure themselves from the robberies oi those wnomade a trade of 
pOkge. Besides, in those times of disorder, when laying up maga- 
zines of provisions was not thought of, countries were often visited 
irith desolating fiimine and pestuence; in such necessities many free- 
men, that they might not die of starvation, gave themselves up, with 
their children and property, to nobles or spiritual foundations for 
bread. And, lastly, many became servitors to cloisters and eccle- 
aasdcal establishments; and from piety, or for the salvation of their 
souls, they gave their all to the altar of God. For the church already, 
Bt this period, possessed and maintained the privileges, by which an 
individual mignt give to it his whole possessions, and thus entirely 
pass by the just inheritors. Thence, from all these causes, it happened 
that, at the end of this period, not only the ancient pride and 6ou* 
iBge, but also the majority of the freemen — accordingly the inde- 
pendence of the Germans — had disappeared, and scarcely any but 
noblemen and their feudatories remained, thus threatening the coun- 
trj with die sad prwpect of decay and ruin. But whenever neces- 
sity has been great, God has always sent to the German nation unex- 
pected aid and support. Accordingly, at this moment, it was precisely 
the devastation spread everywhere by the Hungarians which laid 
the foundation for the renewed elevation of the common freemen to 
a civic state, and re-established later the condition of the peasant. 

After the death of Louis the Child, the principal German branches 
^tssembled, and looked about them for the most worthy among their 
pinces to be their king. The election fell upon Otho the Illustrious, 
jDuke of Saxony and Thurinria, who was related, on the maternal 
^, to ihe Carolingians, and by the power of his house, as well as 
by age and wisdom, was held m great esteem by all. On the pa- 
tenuu side, lie descended from Count Eckbert, whom Charlemagne 
had placed in Saxony against the Normans, in 810. Otho, however, 
lefused the crown, because the cares of the empire were too great 
for his age, and advised rather that Conrad, the Duke of the Franks 
faccoiding to some writers, he was only a count), be made king. 
For this act, Otho merits the greater praise, as Conrad was trufy 
worthy to rule as king, and the race of the Franks still continued 
^ most esteemed among the German nations; for hitherto it was 
*iom that race that the king had commanded over the whole of Ger- 
^Mmy. Otho, therefore, wisely considered it better that the rule 
^[ the empire should remain with them, and, in so doing, entirely 
^;i^nus8ed trom his mind the enmity which always had, and still par- 
tiaDj existed between the Saxons and the Franks. 

Conrad was accordingly elected king on the 8th of November^ 


Mlt at Ffbizheiin. He is described as being a man of eieai merit, 
both at borne and abroad; valiant and prudent, kind and Hb^raL His 
£ist care was to elevate, from its sunken state, the royal authoritj, 
£[xrupon it depended the order of the whole empire. But the confiiaioa 
was too great, and Conrad's reign too short, to render his effi>rts com- 
plctelj successful The Lothrmgians, or Lorndners, who only, since 
the time of Louis the German, had belonged to Germany, were not 
contented with his election, and separated themselves, nor could Con- 
rad bring them back again to the empire. After the death of Otho 
tike Illustrious, he haa to contend with his son, Henry of Saxony; 
for, misguided by the advice of Hatto, Archbishop of Mentz, ne 
wished to deprive Henry of some great fie& which he owned, besides 
his dukedom of Saxony, in order that no prince of the empre 
should be too {powerful; probably these were the northern districts of 
Thuiingia, which Otho nad already possessed; but Henry was va- 
liantly defended by his Saxons. He completely defeated llie king's 
lirother, Eberhard, who had advanced against him with an flrmVf 
near Eresburg (now Stadberg) so that he retained the fie6 in the 
subsequent treaty, which terminated the war; naj, he even appeals 
to have conquered also the southern portion oi Tlnringia, and to 
have maintained the ducal digttitv over the whole of Thuringia. 

Conrad confirmed Count Borkhard in Swabia, after some eontest, 
as Duke of the Allemanni. Amulf of Bavaria, however, who also 
revolted, and so &r forgot himself as lo call in tiie Hungarians to 
kis assistance, was condemned to death by the princes <^ me empire 
as a traitor to the Gountry^ and was obMged to take lefbge among 
the Hungarians. 

Thus, by energetic measures and timely concessions, ihe general 
ttanquillity and imperial d^nity were re-estabhahed, and the unit? 
o£ Germany maintamed. But Conrad well felt how difficult the tssk 
was for him, and that the power of the Frankish dukes alone was not 
sufficient to curb the over-powerful nobles. It also required greater 
strength to protect the empire against the Slavonians and Hunga- 
rians, who still repeated, without ceasing, their incursions. At the 
same time, perhaps, he did not perceive in his brother, Eberhard, 
who {>retended to possess the greatest claim to the crown, the proper 
qualities of a king; whilst, on the other hand, his earlier ana now 
conciliated opponent, Henry of Saxony, was, in all respects, irre- 
proachable, endowed with great energy of mind and body, and, by 
Lis power and influence, raiuked at the head of all the German princes.. 
When, therefore, Conrad lay sick of a wound at Limburg, on the 
Lahn, which he had received in his last expedition against the 
Hungarians, and felt death approaching, he thought of the example 
which Otho the Illustrious had ffiven at his election, and foigettm^ 
all jealousy, and with his thoughts directed only for the weal of h^ 
country, he called his brother, Eberibard, to his bedside, and thus 
addressed him; ^^ We command, it is truCi great means, my dear 



Eberhard; we can collect great armies, and know how to lead them. 
We are not wanting in fortified eities and defences, nor in any of 
the attributes of royal dignity. Yet greater power, influence, and 
wisdom^ dwell with Henry, and upon him alone depends the welfare 
of the empire. Take, therefore, these jewels, this lance and sword, 
together with the chain and crown of the aacient Hn^, and carry 
them to Henry the Saxon. Be at peace with him, that you may 
have him for your constant strong alw. Announce to him that Con- 
rad, on his death-bed, has chosen and recommended him as king, in 
preference to all the other princes." He died in December, 918. 

Eberhard did what his brother had commanded, and was the first 
who did fealty to King Henry. A kingdom wherein such senti-* 
meats were found, mignt truly and without danger, remain electoral 





The tenth century is by no means rich in historical works: 

1. The chronicle of Regino, already mentioned in the preceding epoch, was con- 
tinued by another writer as far as the year 967, abridged, but mostly careful and 
exact, and altogether well written. 

2. Luitprand of Favia, private secretary to King Beranger IL of Italy, afterwards 
in the service of King Otho I., and finally Bishop of Cremona, wrote the history of 
his time not without spirit, and, especially in his history of Italy, very instructive, 
although partial and enthusiastic. His style is far-fetched and bombastic, showing 
much of the comtier, and a great love for anecdote and illustration in his narratiTe. 
This history goes from c 886 — 948, and a supplement from 961 — ^964. He wrote 
also, in another distinct work, an account of his embassy to the court of the Em- 
peror Nicephorus. 

3. Horoswitha, a nun of Gandersheim, wrote a poem, ** De Gestis Ottomun Fii- 
negyris,** firom 919 — 964; as the title indicates, a poem in praise of Otho the Great, 
accordingly not always faithful to truth, and, of course, partial or one-sided; never- 
theless, not without some proportionate merit here and there. She treats upon the 
later years rather fugitiyefy. 

4. Widukind, usu^y cidled Wittekind, a monk of Corvey, who died about the 
year 1000, wrote a history of the Saxons (Rerum Saxinocarum, libri iiL) as fiir as 
973. As the first historian of his time, he presents his record of the events in a 
form equally agreeable and happy, devoted to the house of Saxony, but still with a 
desire after truth; and the second part of his work is of invaluable merit. The first 
portion is, in part, based upon the legends and traditions of the people. 

6. Amongst the chronicles on the history of Germany, especially the relations of 
the Lotharingians, Flodoard of Rheims is particularly important, who wrote a his- 
tory from 919 to 966. 

6. Richer, a monk of St. Remy, near Rheims, studied medicine,' and was a pupil of 
the celebrated G«sbart; and encouraged by his master to write history, he com- 
posed, in the years 995 to 998, his " Historiarum, libros iv.,** from 888 — 995, which 
he dedicated to Gcsbert His history is, for France, partial, and he often adapts the 
events to the advantage of that country. Nevertheless, amidst the dearth of jaa- 
torical source in his time, he is certainly of great value. His nairative is based upon 
a close study of the ancients^ The middle ages being only taken up by Ekkehard, 
Richer was quite lost sight of^ until Pertz discovered in Bamberg the only autho- 
graphic document still existing by him, which has been puUiah^ in the ** Hona- 

7. Detached and extremely interesting communications are given to us in the 
biographies of Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne, tiie brother of O&o I.; of Udalricb, 
Bishop of Augsburg; and other ecclesiastics of that time. 

In the eleventh century, we find more important and a greater number of histarians, 
who, in their descriptions, distinguish themselves especially: 

1. The life of Queen Matilda, written by command of King Henry IL, by an un- 
known author, between the years 1002 and 1014; agreeably written, and not unim- 
portant as regards the history of Henry I. 

2. Ditmar, or Thietmar, Bishop of Merseburg, who died in 1018, wrote a histoiy 
of the German kings from 876 — 1018. His narrative is confused, his language ob- 
scure, being neither pure nor agreeable, and his description in the first boola not 
impartial Nevertheless, he is of great importance to us, rich in information of the 
most varied nature, and forms our principle source for the history of Otho HL and 
Henry H. He was a Mend and relation of the Saxon emperors. 

3. Besides the last-mentioned writer, we find the best detailed and correct inibr- 


mstion respecting the end of the tenth and oonunencement of the elerenth century 
in the ** Annales Quedlinburgensis," to 1025. 

4. The life of Henry IL by Addbold, Bishop of Utrecht, is incomplete, and nearly 
an borrowed from Ditmar, but well written. The ** ViUe" of both the Bishops of 
Hildesheim, Bemward and Godehard, are, as regards the history of Saj[ony , of great 
coQKqoenoe; the Meinwercs of Paderbom merit being mentioned likewise. 

5. Wippo, chaplain to the Emperor Conrad IL, whose life he has written in a pom- 
poos style, ** Vita Conradi SalicL" He was a man of science and letters, and of a 
remarkable mind. 

6. Hemumnus Contractus (the lame), of the family of the Counts of Vehringen^ 
and a Benedictine monk of Beichenau, who died in 1054. He wrote a chronicle 
from 1000— 1054, continued to 1 100 by Berthold and Bemold, of Constance. 

7. Adam of Bremen (bom at Meissen, and canon and rector of the college of Bre- 
men), who died in 1076. He wrote a good ecclesiastical history of the North, from 
the middle of the eighth century to 1076; important for the history of North Ger- 
many, especially of the time of Henry IV. 

8. Bnuio of Corvey (de Belle Saxonico), a passionate adversary of Henry IV., and 
vfao exaggerates and disfigures mudi; yet he is important and indispensable for the 
hutocy of the war. 

9. Lambert of Aschafibnlnirg, a monk of Hersfeld, wrote a chronicle from the 
earlier times to 1077. A work (^ great genius, full of spiri^ weU written, and an 
important sooroe for the period in which he lived ; he is especially the best historian 
of the middle ages. 

10. MsrianoB Scotos, who died in 1086; a monk of Fnlda and Mentz» who wrote 
a dnoDide to 1083, which was continued by Dodechin to 1200. 

11. Egbert, a monk of Gemblours (Sigeb. Gemblacensis), who died in 1112, wrote 
a chrooide; learned, written with great industry, and rich in information, but which 
is nerertfaeleas confused and not altogether authentic. His work has been continued 
by aereral writers, and in the subsequent middle ages much resorted ta 

12. Ekkefaaidua Uraugiensis wrote a chronicle to 1126, likewise very learned, 
carefolly written, of great value in the particular history of his own times, and more 
impartia] than most of the historians of that period, who all wrote for or against the 
enperon and popes. There are several continuations of this work, of which the 
most known is that by the Abbot of Ursperg ([Chron. UrspergJ to 1229. 

IS. The letters of the popes and other distinguished men, collected by an ecclesi- 
astic, Ulrich of Bamberg, in the twelfth century, are extremely valuable. 

14. It is likewise very interesting, in order to catch the spirit of those times when 
the dispute between Henry and Gregory excited the pens of various distinguished 
iKn, to write in defence of both those parties, to know the various controversial 
prodoctioos which appeared on this subject, with the different opinions therein con- 
^ainei The partisans of the pope had their central point in the monasteries 
of St. Blaise^ Schaffhaiuen, and Hirschau ; whilst, however, many learned and esti- 
mable men, of irreproachable character, wrote against the pope and in favour of the 
onperor. We cannot here give the names of these opposite writers, but their cha- 
ncier win be found fully drawn in Stenzel's excellent work on the history of Ger- 
inanj under the Frankish emperors.* 

15. Hie Biography of Benno, Bishop of Osnaburg, a friend of Henry lY. by 
^orbert, Abbot of the Convent of Iburg, which was built by Benno, contains im- 
portant information. 

16w The historians of the Crusades are more especially numerous ; the importance 
of the subject, the universal interest taken therein, the peculiar nature of the expe- 
^^tkm in a foiKign country and at such a distance, together with the surprising and 
*Qoderfiil deeds performed, excited many, and particularly those who were present, 
togiTe their records of the scenes witnessed, for the perusal of those left behind at 
dte time and their successors. The majority o£ the chronicles have been collected 
IrBoqgars* under the title: *' Gesta Dei per Francos, Hanoviae 1611, fol." 

In the twdfth and thirteenth centuries, the impetus given by the Crusades pro- 
iaoed its influence, and operated beneficially upon the historians. They became 
BOR particular in the selection and arrangement of the subject-matter, thus showing 
a (xnunenoement in the art of historical writing. Amongst the most distinguished 

1. Otho^ Bishop of Freisingen, who died in 1158, son of the Margrave Leopold of 

Geachichte Deutschlands unter den Frankischen Kaisem. 1827-1828. 


Aoftria, a pliiloiopher,of kidependent feeDng, ood ftafl of doqiienee. He motet imi- 
Tenal history to the year 1152, well continiied aa te as 1209, by Olho of Saiale 
Bkuse ; and the life of the Emperor Frederic I. to 1156, which was contimied as far 
aa 1160 hy Eadewich, Canon of Freisingen; both works eqiudly interestiDg and 
leanied, and written with intellSgenee and dtBcemment. 

2. The History of FMeric L reodTes important elncidations from the dnonkies 
«f Yincenz of Fftignep 1140— 1167; the History of Lodi 1153—1178, by Otho aad 
Acerbns Morana; the History of Bomoald, Archbishop of Salerno, to 1168; the 
Poem of Gilnther: ligurinus and the book of the so-called Sixe Rani of Milan: ** de 
Bebus gestis Frederici in Italia." 

9* The Chronicle of the SUvi, by Hdmold, an ecclesiastic of Labedc, to 1170. and 
by Arnold to 1209; important tor the history of Henry the lion and the house of 

4. Vainable information is giten upon the same subject 'by Geriiard, Plorost of 
Stederbnch, in his Chronicles of the Monastery, and l^ ibe Monk of Weingarten in 
his book " de Gudfis," and his Chronicles. 

9. The so-called ** Annalista Sazo" and*^ Chronagraphns Saxoi* mostly oooipihr 
ttook, hot the former for the eleventh and the latter for the twelfth centuries, in the 
detail, are both very interesting. 

Keariy all the^hqprics, chorches, and monasteries of Germany, now reoeited 
tfKir appointed historians, who we find tooch more or less upon general matters, and 
mm often more important than the universal chzonides sdected for general cxreola- 
tion. Such are for instance : 

€. Albert von Stade^ whose chroniefe goes ss fkr ss 1256, and ia contimied by a 
stranger to 1324 — ^also a eompilation. 

7. Gotfried TonTiteibo to IIM; the monk Alberidi, Job. Yitodnranns, &c 

8. A ooUectian of letters by cdebrated men of that period is veiy i mp or laa t , 
^apedaUy those of Pbpe Innocent WL and Fetnn de Yinea, ChsnoeUor of the Em- 
peror Frederic IL, and who died in 1249. 

9. The most complete odilection of letters to and from the pope% of the transac- 
tisBS of their ambassadors and other similar docmaents, has been pies e i t ed in the 
avdiiyes of the Vatican inSome, which, as maybe easfly conceived, are of the highest 
teportanee for the history of this periiid, bnt it is extremely diiBcnit to gain aoeess 
to them. A mat part of them, however, has been transcribed in Rome bj Pertz, 
and already the oommenoement of their publication has been made in the fomcfa 
Tolmne of the ** Monumenta Germaniae Historica.* 

la A work of very great importanoe for tiie luslory of the Emperor Frederic IT., 
is the History of England^ by Matthieu-Fftris, who, together with the evcnte of the 
Xttglish nation from 1066 — 1259, treats also occasionally upon the affiura of the other 
nations of Euro^ So likewise various Italian historians, of whom we need onlv 
kere refer especially to Richard de Saint Gennano and NUxdas de Jammlla (both 
m the CoUeetkm of Mnratori> 

11. Allthegreatwriters who form the source of history have been bivughl toge- 
ther in the great CoUeethms of Duchesne, Bouquet (for Fiance), Muiatori (for Itafy), 
Sdterd, Beuber, Urstisius, Pfstorius^ Fteher, Goidast, SchiHer, Meibom, Leibnitz, 
Ekkard, &c., (for Germany). 

f» 12. Equally important as were for the history of the preceding epoch the oofiection 
ef the ancient laws of the Franks and the nations subjected to them, are likewise for 
the history of the Middle Ages (although much abridged^ the collections of the later 
1bwi» known under the names of the Sackaen^ritgdw Bfirror of Saxony, the SbAwofaa- 
£pi$gel or JMBrror of Swafaia, and Kmmameht, or the Impoial Law. 




fiessj I, 919-9d6->HiB Wan-— The Hvngarianft— The SfatToniaiu^N'ew Instita- 
tinofr-Otho L, 936-973— The Himgnrianii— Battle of the Lechfeld— The Western 
Empire renewed 962— Greece—Otho IL, 973-983— Italj—Otho TEL, 983-1003— 
Hii Bciigiolu I^yotion — ^Hli Partiality for Roman and Grecian Manners and 
Cnstoma— Henry 11^ 1003-1024— Italy— Pavia—Bamherg^Bis Death, 1024— 
Rod of the Sazon Dynasty. 

Ths acooonts we poaeesB tespectiBg the electioii of Hemy vssy 
much, and are here and there Terj erroneoufl. If we foDow — as u 
Init just — ^the statements of the most ancient writers, Widnkmd and 
Ditmar, we shall find that the princes and elders of the Franks, 
jxeUinff to the counsel of Conrad their king, siyen on his death-bed, 
asBembkd together at the summons of their duke, Eberhard, at Frits* 
kr, in the bcginningof the jear 919, and there, in the presence of 
the two nations, the Franks and the Saxons, elected Henry for their 
Kfwet&ffL The whole aasembly with uplifted hands proclaimed and 
aalnted wkh loud shouts their chosen king. Thus uie choice waa 
mose properly made by tlie nobles of Franconia, whikt the Saxoxa 
BAtoQuly accepted the election made of their own duke. As yet, how- 
erec, it could not be known what measures might be adopted by the 
other nations, and we shall soon, learn in what way Henry speedily 
broa^t the Swabians and Bavarians to acknowledge his sovereign^. 

Sobeeqiient authorities relate that the envoys despatched to cms 
the crown to Henry, met him on his estates <^ the Hartz Mouair 
tuns, amonff his fideons, occupied in catching birds, whence 
he derived the byname of the Fowler. It is possible that this tnr 
ditum may have Deen preserved among the people, still the aforesaid 
cnlier writers make no mention of it, whilst it is only in the middkr 
of the eleventh century that we &r the first time meet in the chro- 
nicles and o&er historical works, with this byname Henricus aucepsw 

Henry's reign began, it is true, with some internal agitations, but 
these were soon queued, for the anxious wish both of Otho the lUustri* 
008 and £in^ Conrad became now fulfilled, and the Franks and the 
SazoDS lived aceoxdingly in harmcmy together. Duke Burkhard of 
Swahia, and Duke Arnulf of Barvaiia, who had returned £rom the 
HuBgaxkna^irfbeed Mm homage; but he speedily broaght them by 
rae power of his arms and the gentler force of peaceful and firiendbf 
persuarion, back to their duty. Thus, firom the year 921, the whofe 
of Gennany obeyed Henry, and no internal war disturbed the peace 
of his empire^ although it was only after several battles that he con- 
Qiieied Ijoiraine, wlich had stiU wavered between France and 
Gemumy. Soon afterwards he strengthened his union with that 



country by giving his daughter Grerberga in marriage to its duke, 
Gifielbert, and during seven centuries tnat beautiful land remained 
imited with Germany. 

Henry could ijow occupy himself with his foreign enemies, the 
Slavonians and Hungarians. The latter thought they could still 
continue their old system of destruction in the German countries, 
but they now found an opponent who arrested their progress. At 
first, indeed, Henry was obuged to yield to their furious attacks (in 
924), and they advanced into the very heart of Saxony. He was, 
however, fortunate enough, in a sally he made from the fortified 
Castle of Werle, or Werlaon,* to capture one of their most distin- 
guished princes; for his ransom and Henry's promise of a tribute the 
Hungarians concluded a truce for nine years, and engaged during 
that time not to attack Germany. They probably purposed after 
that to make doubly good the lost time, but Henry profited so well 
by those nine years tnat when they did return they found a very 
different country to contend with. 

He now commenced suppressing with much severity and justice in- 
temal turbulence and depredation, so that the greater zeal might be 
excited against foreign enemies. For under the reign of the last 
Carolingians, as we have abeady seen, the spirit for war and rapine 
was cherished everywhere, even amongst the nobles. Henry pur- 
Bued and punished these robbers wherever they were taken; but 
he pardoned those in whom he found the better spirit to exist, and 
gave them arms and land on the eastern frontiers of the empire, in 
order that they might thus have a fidr opportunity for the exercise 
of their passion for war against his enemies. Merseburg, which 
served as one of the quarters for such a troop, thus became a sort of 
bulwark or protecting wall against the Slavonians, imtil Heniy 
himself advanced farther into the country of that nation. 

He then exercised his German soldiers, who until then only knew 
how to contend on foot, in the art of fighting on horseback, so that they 
znight be better enabled to resist the hordes of mounted Hungarians; 
and as the Germans were always willing to learn, and were likewise 
skilful in the acquirement of the art of arms generally, they were 
speedily made perfect in the cavalry evolutions. He practised them 
to attack in close ranks; to await the first arrow of the enemy, and to 
receive it on the shield, and then suddenly to dash upon them before 
they had time to discharge the second. Combined with this reform in 
the cavaby exercise, he likewise introduced a more strict discipline ; 
the eldest brother in every family, as it appears, was forced to do 
dutv as a horse soldier, and all capable of bearing arms were obliged 
at the geneiul summons (according to the ancient law, which he re- 
newed) to join the ranks. 

* The position of Werle (called by Widukind, Werlaon) has been varioualj dis-. 
cussed; endeavours having been made to trace it in Westphalia, Brunswick, Hildes- 
heim, and other districts ; but most probably it wa^ in the palatinate of the same name, 
9ear Goslar, as appears in the '< Minor of the Saxons." 


FInallj, as lie well saw that the enemy could still do much mis- 
chief, even if they were put to flight — for, hke a flash of lightning^they 
appeared now here, now there, pillaging and murdering and then 
vanished before they could be overtdcen — he in this interval, con- 
verted with great industry a number of imemployed buildings into 
fortified castles, placed at certain distances from eacn other, so that the 
inhabitants of the suirounding country, upon the first intelligence of 
the enemy's approach, might take remge there with their property. 
The Hungarians knew nothing of besieging cities, and if they maae 
but litde booty in their incursions they did not very soon appear 
again. Henry s hereditary lands — as in fact generally the nortk of 
Germany— were very poor in those larger settlements which might 
he compared vrith towns; in those parts the custom of living in iso- 
lated localities was preserved later tlian elsewhere. Accordingly, as 
Widukind relates, all were busily occupied, day and night, vnththe 
construction of these burghs, and every one without distinction of 
rank or other claims to mdependence, was forced to join in this 
pand work. Henry built these fortified castles and cities chiefly 
in his hereditary lands, Saxony and Thuringia, and among others 
Goslar, Duderstadt, Nordhausen, Quedlinburg, Mersebuig, and 
Maaaen are named. But that he might also have inhabitants and 
parrisons in these places he ordered, tnat of all the men who were 
bound to do service in war, every ninth man should dwell in the city, 
and these were obliged to occupy themselves with the building of 
houses, which might serve as places of refuge, upon the attacks ofthe 
enemy, and the others were Dound to supply them yearly with the 
third portion of their produce, in order that they might have where- 
irith to live, and preserve the rest for all in time of danger. 

When Henry had passed some years in making these preparations 
he resolved to exercise his warriors, by subduing the neighbours of 
die Grermans in the east and north, who although not so dimgerous as 
the Hungarians, were still not less disposed to be hostile. 

He attacked and beat the Slavonians (the Hevellers on the Havel) 
in the Marches of Brandenburg, and conquered their city Brennaburg 
(Brandenburg), which he b^eged in the most severe winter, so 
severe that his army encamped on the ice of the river Havel. He then 
sabjected the Daleminziens or DalmatianSy who inhabited the banks 
ofthe Elbe, from Meissen to Bohemia. He also imdertook an expe- 
dition against the Bohemians, besieged Duke Wenzeslaus in Prague^ 
the capital, and forced him to yield obedience. From this time the 
kings of Germany have continued to demand fealty from the dukes 
of Bohemia. 

These events took place in all probability in the years 928 and 
929. But in this latter year a Slavonic race, the Kedarians, en- 
couraged no doubt by the absence of the king when on his Bohe- 
iniaa expedition^ umted with their neighbouring tribes, and sud- 
denly revolted, and it was necessary to summon together all the 
Saxons, in one entire mass, to advance against them. The king's 


ffeneals laid deee to tlie town of Lakim (Lenxea), near the Elbe. 
A g9ea;t annr of the SlavoiuaaB advanoed to its idiel^ and a mxA 
battle was {ought, in whidi thej weie completely annilmated. 
Widuldnd states their loss at 200,000; even if tois niiinber is 
exageecated, it is quite certain that this Tictoiy of the Saxxms pro- 
docea the lastix^ subjection of the Slavonians. 

No doubt it was in order to guarantee these new coii<]|ue8t8 against 
the Slavonians, that Henrj extended the already <»yi«taw>g detenoes 
on the Slavonian firontierSy and thence were formed gradually the 
Maij^viate of Nordsachsen (the present Altmark), and the liar- 
graviate Meissen, on the Wibe, where he founded the same-oanied 
city and fortification. Credit may not be given to him, it is tiue, for 
the complete establishment of both these maigraviates, because that 
occurs in the time of the Ottomans; nevertheless they owe to him 
their foundation. Neither is it proved that in order to promul- 
gate Christianity among the Slavonians, he had already foiinded 
bishoprics, ihe turbulence of the times may have prevented him duziog 
the rest of his reign horn doing so; but his son Otho completed 
afterwards what his iather projected, by introducing ecdeoastical 
institutions there. 

Meantime the nine years' truce with the Hungarians having ex- 
mred, they sent an embassy to Germany to demand the ancient tri- 
bute which that country had disgracefully been obliged to pay 
them. But Henry, to show them the contempt in which the Ger- 
mans now held tl^em, delivered to the ambassadors this time, in the 
form of a tribute, a mangy dog, deprived of its tail and ears, that 
being a very ancient symbol otthe most utter contempt. At this 
the Uun^anans were roused into fury, and prepared th^nsdves 
to take bitter revenge for it; but King Henry now addressed his 
people thus: 

'^ Tou know firom what dai^ers our formerly-desolated kingdom 
is now &ee, for it was torn to pieces by internal dissensions, and 
external wars. But now, by the protection of God, by our efforts, and 
by your valour, one enemy, the Slavonians, bdng brought to subjec* 
tion, nothing remains for us but to raise ourselves just as uni- 
tedly, and in one mass against the common enemy, the savage Avari 
(thus he styled the Hungarians). Hitherto we have been obliged 
to give up all our possesions to enrich them, and now to satisfy them 
further we must plunder our churches, for we have nothing else to give 
them. Choose now yourselves; will you admit that 1 shall take 
away what is appointed for the service of God to purchase our 
peace from the enemies of that God, or will you, as it b^eems Ger- 
mans, firmly confide that He will save us, who in. truth is our Lord 
and Saviour?" On this the people raised their hands and voices to 
heaven, and swore to fight. 

The Hungarians now advanced in two strong divisions. The first 
attacked Thuringia and devastated the country, to the Weser dis- 
tricts, as far as it was not defended by its fortified towns. But an 


ann J, foxmed of ike Saxons and Tburmgiiiu, attacked ting divi- 
acm, defeated it, destrojed its leadeiB, and puisimig it tfarougli tlie 
whole of Hiiizingia, anmhilated it completely. 

Hie other division of the Hungarians wnich had Temained sta- 
tionaiY in the eastern districts, received the tidings of the overthxow 
of their brethren at the moment they were laying siwe to the seat 
of Henry's aster, married to Wido of Tburingia. What place this 
vasy yre have unfortunately not been able to learn. Some hare 
thought it to be Merseburg, which Liutpiand names as the enemy's 
^ce of enca mp ment, others again jMronounce it to be Wittenb^. 
The king, as Widukind relates, encamped near Biade, the situatioii 
of which it is equally impossble to detennine. Still it is extremely 
^bable that the battle took place in the vicinity of the Saale, not 
far fix>m Merseburg, in the Massgan. 

The enemy abandoned their camp, and according to llieir custom, 
hghted laige fires as a signal to all the rest of their troops, dispersed 
uoond in plundering, to collect tog^er. The £>]lowmg morning 
Henry advanced with his army, and ezh<»rted his troops in the moat 
glowmg language on that day to take ample revenge lor the wrongs 
of their countiy and their relations and finends slain, or carried off as 
daves. Ihus he marched through the ranks of his warriors, bearing 
in his hand the holy lance,* preceded by the banner of ihe army 
waring before him, which was consecrated as the angel's banner, 
it being decorated with l^e figure of the archangel Michad. Thenoe 
the Gcnnan warriois felt within them the full confidence of victoxy, 
and awaited the signal for battle with impatience. The king, how- 
ever, who already perceived by the motions of the «iemy that they 
ironld not make a stand, sent forward a portion of the ahuringian 
militia, or Landwehr, with a few li^htly-aimed horseooien, in order 
that the enemy might pursue these iSmost unarmed troops, and then 
be fiedooed onwards to attack his main body. And this took place; but 
ther 80 speedily turned their backs upon viewing the well-armed 
nnxs of the Germans, that it scarcdy became a regular battle. 
They were pursued, and ihe greater part were either hewn down or 
taken prisoners; the camp of the enemy, with all the treasures 
stolen, was captored, and what to the feelings was most of all af* 
fecti]^ and delightful was, .that the prisoners whom the Hunga- 
nans had already forced along as skves, now saw themsdves so provi- 
dentially freed m>m bondage. Henry then fell down on his knees, 
together with his whole army, and thanked God for the victory 
gamed. Hie tribute which hie had hitherto been forced to pay over 
to the enemy he now devoted to the service of the church, as well as 

* Hot iiaijlaiioe wat handed to Henrx hy Bndotpluii of Bargaody, m a pre* 
*>t : it WM flirniihed with a cron, fanned of nalli, with which, m wm believed, tha 
^vds and feet of our Sayionr had been fixed when crocifled. ' King Heniy and his 
(vcoMfa hdd thia Mcred weapon in high Teneration, and alwaya naed it on im* 
f>tnt occanooi. 


to charitable gifts which he made to the poor; and the king himself, 
flays Widukind, was henceforward called by his inspired warriors, 
" The fiither of his country," their " sovereign lora/' and their 
*^ emperor;" whilst the fame of his great virtue and valour extended 
over the whole country. 

This action took place in the year 933, in the neighbourhood of 
Merseburg, and was what was usually styled the Merseburger engage- 
ment or the battle of the Hassgau. In remembrance of the event, Henry, 
as is related by Liutprand, had a painting of the battle drawn in the 
dining hall of^^his palace in Merseburg, which represented the tri- 
umphant scene with nearly all the truth and animation of life itself. 

The year 934 presentea to King Henry another opportunity by 
which to gain great glory, by an expedition against the Danes, 
who were ravaging and laying waste the coasts of Friesland and 
Saxony. He marched into tneir own country, at the head of his 
army, forced their king, Gk)rm (usually sumamed the old), to con- 
clude a peace, established at Silesia, on the frontiers of the empire, 
a fortified barrier, and founded there a margraviate, wherein he left 
a colony of Saxons. He also succeeded in converting one of the 
members of the royal family — ^probably Knud, the son of 6orm, 
but, according to others, his second son, Harold — ^to Christianity. 
Thus was re-established by Heniy I. the Mar^mmate Schlei and 
Trenne, which had previously served, as a bulwark for theimperial&on- 
tiers, and which the Danes bad again possessed and destroyed. This 
good prince therefore had now the happiness to behold, wnen on the 
eve of his glorious life, these enemies of the north who, during an entire 
century, had spread terror throughout the countries of Europe, retire 
before him, and, confining themselves within the limits of tneir own 
territory, acknowledge his power.* 

At home, in his own domestic circle, King Henry exercised the 
virtues and duties of an excellent husband and a good father. His 
queen, the pious and gentle Matilda, was the model of wives; 
tot, possessing great influence over the king, she availed her- 
self thereof, wherever it was possible, to obtain his grace and 
pardon for the guilty; and his kind and noble heart was always 
sadly pained when the stem command of public justice forced him to 
refuse her appeals for mercy. By her he had five children, Otho, 
Gerber^, Haduin, and subsequently Henry and Biuno. By his 
first wife, Hathberga (who, having originally been destined for a 
convent, was never looked upon as his lawful wife, and soon left him) 
he had a son, called Tancmar, but who was not acknowledged as a 
le^timate child. 

xle gave Otho, his eldest son and successor, in marriage to £d^ 
tha, daughter of Edward, King of England; and by that act, set the 
first example which the kings of the Saxon dynasty followed so fre- 

* This piece of land, between Schlei and Eider, remained thenceforward united 
with Germany for nearly a century, until the emperor, Ck>nrad H, resigned it to King 


qaentty afterwards, of seeking to unite ihemselves with all the other 
rojal nouses of Europe. This forms a distinguished feature in this 
noble race. 

Towards the end of his life, according to Widukind, after having 
so gloriously succeeded in his devoted object, of producing for his 
conntrypeace internally, and from all other nations respect exter- 
nally, Heniy had it in contemplation to proceed to Italy, in order 
to re-unite that country with the empire of Gennany. Whether or 
not this statement rests upon any good foundation, is not ki^own ; but 
the execution of this desimi, if really intended, was suddenly inter- 
rupted by sickness, he bemg attacked with a fit of apoplexy whilst 
staying at Bothfeld, in the autumn of 935, from which he suffered 
a long and severe illness. When he did recover sufficiently, he felt . 
tbe necessity of at once attending to the means of securing iJie tran- 
quillity of his empire, and he accordingly convoked an assembly of 
ue nobles at Erfurt He had long perceived in his eldest son 
Otho, all that energy and greatness of mmd so suitable and necessary 
for a sovereim; but the mother was more in favour of Henry, the 
second son, oecause he was more mild than his passionate brother; 
be^des which, she held him to possess a greater right to the succession 
of the crown, because he was the first-bom son after his father had 
been invested with the imperial dignity. The will of the father, how- 
ever, detennined all the nobles to recognise Otho as successor. 

More easy now in his mind, Henry left Erfurt and proceeded to 
Memleben. There he experienced a second attack of apoplexy, 
and, after having taken an affecting, but resigned farewell of his 
amiable wife, he died on Sunday the 2nd of July, in the year 936, 
at the age of sixty, in the presence of his sons and dififerent princes 
of the empire. His remains were buried in the church of St. Peter, 
before the altar, in Quedlinburg, the city he had himself founded. 

Henry had reigned only eighteen years, and yet during that time 
he had not only raised the empire from a fallen state, but had ele- 
vated it to the highest degree of power and command. He was 
strong and mighty against his enemies, and towards his fiiends and 
subjects, kind, just, and mild. He is represented as having been of 
a mndsome, chivalric form, skilful and bold as a himter, and so 
adroit in all the exercises of the body and warUke arms, that he was 
the teiror of his adversaries. He was extremely bland and affable 
in his manner, but still preserved so well his dignity that he kept 
J one within the bounds of respect. 

(enry may, with justice, be styled one of the greatest of all Ger- 
man prmces; for that which proves the greatness of a king is not so 
iDQch the actions by which he astonishes the world, but the works he 
kar^ behind him, and which bear in themselves the living germ of 

Unfortunately, the most ancient and authentic writers in reference 
to King Henry are very imperfect and unsatisfactory, so much so, 
tLat it is impossible to place entire confidence in the subsequent state- 




ments. Still it is already much wlien we find at least, liiat aD the 
writers of the middle ages agree in looking upon him as the insti- 
tutor of chivalry and the ennobling reformer of the nobility, as wdl 
as being the founder of cities and citusenship, and, with one word, of 
all the noble institutions which became developed after him. This tes- 
timony proves that his works have had the greatest influence, and, 
accormngly, that his memory, as it has been, should continiie to Iw 
honoured among mankind. But even if we retain only what is 
clearly proved in histcxy, enough will remain to establish his claims 
to glory and honour. 

Henry became a sdll greater benefactor to Germany by founding, 
in the construction of cities, new municipalities. For although the im- 
mediate object of thesestroag places was to protect the country against 
the pillaging hordes of the Hungarians, it was one only secoiMlfliy, in- 
asmuch as they were far more important as the cradle of a new con- 
dition of life. The <Mxler of common fieemea towards the end of 
the Garolingian period was, as already stated, venr much reduced or 
nearly extinct. The German people were upon the high road of be- 
coming, like those other nations where there are but two dasses, lords 
and slaves; two conditions between which that pride and energy 
given by freedom are never recovered. Already the coun^ itseu 
was chiefly cultivated by mere mercenaries, and industrial employ- 
ments as well as trade were almost entirely in the hands of the Jews. 
The nobles considered these occupations beneath their dignity; nay, 
they were very often dependant on the Jews, who had aocumulated 
immense riches, because m their necessity they were forced to borrow 
money from them. As early as in the last period of the Roman 
empire the laws had already commenced to &vour the Israelites, and 
by Honorius among others, they were entirely freed from all mititary 
service. Their chief dwelling places were the cities on^ the Rhine 
and the Danube, which originated in the time of the Romans, (Co- 
logne, Coblentz, Treves, Mentz, Worms, Spire, Strasbuig, Basle, 
Constance, Augsburg, Ratisbonne, Passau, &c.), and in these cities 
they lived in such great numbers, that they prevented all competi- 
tion and obstructed all increase of trade and mdustry. 

But King Henry now built, as we have seen, a number of cities 
in Saxony and Thuringia, and placed in them inhabitants fiom the 
country, to serve not merely, as has been supposed, during the time 
of war, but as constant dwellmg places ; he also found means to over- 
come the ancient repugnance lelt by the Saxons to living in torwns. 
He promised to those who dwelt in them the security of justice; and 
it is not improbable that each town received its own count, who, in 
time of war was the leader, and in peace was the immediate judge 
and president, although in gradation he may have ranked under tke 
count of the gau or district in which the town lay. 

Afterwards he ordered, as is expressly stated oy Widnkind, that 
all councils, assemblies, and festivals of the inhabitants of the neigh- 
bouring districts, should be held and celebrated in the cities; and 


tbt aD tmde-fkiis in their tain, followed and joined in these regula- 
tions, and that industry and tiaffic found in the cities their central 
p^t of union, is to be infened as a natural and important result, 
whaterer had been Ibnnerlj executed in isolated dwellings, by the ' 
fioniW or seifi, soon became, under the new order of things, worked 
and miiflhed in quantitieB, and in a superior style, by the artizans and 
mechanics of tl]^ cities. And as the master and nis men, in turns, 
prepared oaily one, to each allotted part of the work, wherein each was 
skilled and had been exercised from youth upwards, such a division 
of labour proved, as it always must, the foundation of all civilization 
among the people ; and thence Henry was again the founder of indus- 
tiy, moral cultnrabon, and the development of the civil order of life. 

And widi the same motives that had caused him to give to chivalry 
a nobler aim and a more illustrious title for the exercise of arms, so 
did Henry now seek to introduce the practice of arms for the inha« 
bitants of the cities, so that they might be skilled in the defence of 
their walls, and thus become a defensive and honourable body of the 
state. By this he succeeded in attracting inhabitants for his fortified 
places, in such great numbers^ that as these^ in their original state, 
soon became too narrow to hold them, the new owners, as they ar- 
rived, boiH themselves houses around the fortified place, so that ano- 
ther dfrf, as it were, was speedily completed, which was subsequently 
surronnded with strong walls, likewise as a defence against the at- 
tacks of die enemy. 

Bj what, however, has just been said, it is not meant to convey 
that these institutions of King Henry had at once changed the 
^le course of existing customs and manners in Northern Ger- 
|oaaj, and substituted an extensive and independent order of civil 
insdtudons; on the contrary, owing to the ever-repugnant feelings of 
^Saxons against a confin^ life in towns, as is shewn in subsequent 
times, this new order of things progressed but slowly. Yet he had 
laid the foundation, the coimnencement was made, he gave it an 
impetus, and more could not be demanded from him. His merit 
fies therein, Aat he perceived and acknowledged the necessary re- 
fonns required by the march of events, and he promoted their pro- 
gress; but it was the course of human development which was 
to oofflbine and complete, in an extended form, what was merely 
^^p3i by him. This course, however, is not measured by years, but 
I7 centuries, and thus we shall find, that it is only in the subsequent 
period of the middle ages that the result of the great Henry's noble 
^leagns are m^de manuest in the flourishing state of the existence of 

Already, before the death of Henry, the princes had promised 
^ to leoognise his son Otho as his successor to the empire; and 
J^ reoognitaon was now confirmed in a great assembly at Aix-la- 
Qjapefe, where Otho was solemnly crowned. Two of the great 
^bidiops on the Rhine contended for the honour of the oorona- 
^ He of Cologne claimed it from Aix-la-Chapelle bemg in his 



diocese; and the other, of Treves, because his archbishopric was 
the most ancient. Howeyer, it was at last concluded that neitlaei 
of them, but that Hildebert, Archbishop of Mentz, should perfoim 
the ceremony. Giselbrecht, Duke of Lonaine, in whose ducnj Aix* 
la-Chapelle lay, was charged, as high chamberlain, with the oi&ce 
of proyiding for the lodging and entertainment of the strangeiSf 
of whom a yast number attended. Eberhard, Duke of Franconia, 
as high steward, supplied the tables and the yiands; Duke Herman 
of Swabia, acted as high seneschal, and Amulf, Duke of Bavaria, 
as hi^h-marshal, proyided for the horses and the camp. 

When the people were assembled in the grand cathedral of Aix- 
la-Chapelle, the archbishop led the young kin^ forward bj the 
hand, and spoke thus to the multitude: '* Behold, I here present to 
you the king, Otho, elected by God, proposed by King Ifeniy, and 
nominated by all thq princes f If tins cnoice be acceptable to you, 
you wiU sigmfy it by raising your right hand towards heaven !" 

The whole multitude then held up their hands and hailed the new 
king with loud and joyful acclamations. The archbishop then stepped 
with him to the altar, whereon the imperial insignia lay — ^the sword 
and belt, the imperial mantle, the armlets and the staff, together 
with the sceptre and the crown. The sword he handed to him with 
these words : '* Take this sword, destined to repulse all the enemies 
of Christ, and to confirm, with most lasting power, the peace of all 
Christians;" and he handed to his majesty tne other articles, with 
a similar address. He then placed the crown upon his head and 
led him to the throne, which was erected between two marble 
columns, where Otho continued to sit imtil the solemn ceremony 
was concluded. All eyes were turned with astonishment to the young 
king, whose countenance filled eyery one with yeneratdon. His 
lofty, princely form, his broad manly chest, his large sparkling 
eyes, and beautiful flaxen hair, which flowed down to his shouldeis 
in long locks — all seemed to announce him as being bom to rule. 
The days of festiyal and ceremony haying ended, Otho commenced 
his new reign with yigorous power, and it was speedily shewn that 
outward appearances had not aeceiyed. 

But Otno did not gain oyer the hearts of men that same mild 
power which Henry nis father had obtained. He has often been 
called a lion from his proud and terrific look and manner, and be- 
cause like the lion he cast all enemies down before him, whenever 
and howeyer numerous in force they appeared against him, whether 
at home or abroad. He was a great and powerful monarch, and was 
soon considered the first prince in Christendom. He had placed upon 
his head the imperial crown of Charlemagne, and eyen rendered the 
Germanic empire and its name so celebrated amongst aU nations, that 
none could yenture to claim comparison with it. Such powerful re- 
sults cannot be accompUshed by a man of ordinary mind, and who 
liyes only for tranquillity and peace, but by him alone, to whom like 
Otho, the fame of his nation stands eyer before his eyes as an elevated 
glory-beaming image, and if even the haughtiness of his soul raised 



many enemies against him, and even if in his wrath with which hia 
manlj breast was often excited, he acted with harshness towards hia 
adyenaries, still in his noble dignity of mind, he may be compared 
with the lion, inasmuch as he pitied and spared many times those 
weaker enemies who besought nis mercy and pardon. Anger and 
fieveritj indeed never carried him beyond the limits of justice, for 
witkbm the law ever maintained its mfluence and authority. 

Our country, which before these two great kings, Henry and Otho, 
was rapidly approaching its own ruin, bein^ rent by internal anarchy 
and surroundea externally by enemies who m their contempt, accord- 
ing to their caprice, laid it desolate wherever they could, now rose 
again suddenly, and became as it were a new-bom empire. Not only 
were the enemies struck to the ground, but even- new countries were 
acquired, and all other nations which had previously mocked, now 
bent low before us. In the time of peace, when no danger threatens, 
and justice and order hold predominance everjrwhere, a nation may 
lejoice in a king who sits upon the throne of ms fathers, intent upon 
continuing that state of peace; but when the world is violently agi- 
tated, ana personal freedom and independence are in danger, or 
when a nation has become completely eneryated by a long peace, 
and is thus rendered indifferent to honour and glory, then a king is 
required bold and proud as King Otho the First. His royal patriotic 
Either had commenced the work, and he, the son, felt himself in 
poasMsion of the power to perform its completion. 

It is tme that at the commencement of his reign many princes rose 
against him, as for instance: the Franks under Eberhard, and theLoth- 
°i%i&ns or Lorrainers under Griselbrecht, who still could not forget 
^t a Saxon possessed the royal dimity; Tankmar, his step-brother, 
*ndeyen his own younger brother llenry, the mother's favourite, who 
considered he had a greater right to the crown than Otho, because 
ie was bom when his father was already a king, whilst Otho, on 
4e contrary, was bom whilst he was a duke. But the Franks and 
l^thringians were reduced by arms to tranquillity, after the Dukes 
^hard and Griselbrecht were both slain ; Tankmar was also killed in 
^e contest; and Henry, who had been allied with them, repaired to 
Fiankfurt, and at the Christmas festival, in 942, during mass in the 

git, cast himself at the feet of his brother, and received full pardon, 
ough he had three times risen against him, and had even joined 
Q a conspiracy to take his life. Nay, in 945, he was presented by 
^0 witn the vacant duchy of Bavaria, and thenceforward they re- 
^ed true friends until their death. 
The king now turned his attention towards his external enemies. 
*^ith his north-eastern neighbours, the Slavonians, he had long and 
lajruiuaiy wars, but he made them tributary as far as the Oder, 
^Jin order to confirm Christianity amon^ them, he erected the 
^oDrics of Haselberg, Brandenberg, and Meissen, and subjected later to the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, which ho had estab- 
;^intheyear 968. The Dukes of Bohemia and Poland were obliged 
**=i acknowledge his authority, and by the foimdation of the Bishopric 



of Posen he sought to extend the mild doctrineB of Chzutianity to 
those distant countries. He drove back the Danes, who bad 
ahortly before desolated the Mai^sraviate of Sleswig, founded by his 
father, as far as the point of Juuand, and an aim of the sea on this 
coast derired from nim the name of the Otho-Sound, because he 
fixed his knee there in the ground, as a token of his arrivaL Harold 
caused himself as well as his consort Ghmelda and his schi Sveno to 
be baptised, and bishoprics were erected in Sleswig, Ripen, and 
Aarhuus. Otho felt within himself that he was appointed to per- 
form the part of a Christian German king, the same as Charles the 
Grreat; he spread Christianity around with a national feeling for its 
cultivation, by planting in the conquered countries German colonies. 
Meanwhile, m Italy, circumstances had occurred which attracted 
the eyes of Otho to that country, lon^Log as he did to perform great 
deeds there. Ever since the extinction of the Carolmgian branch 
numerous pretenders to its dominion had started up, scattering dis- 
order and destruction throughout that beautiful land, in addition to 
which bands of plundering strangers had either taken up their 
quarters or made continual incursions throughout the country. Here 
and there the Saracens were found regularly housed amongst the 
rocks of the seacoast, whilst the hordes of the Hungarians or Mag- 
yars, £requently overrun the rich and fertile plains of Upper Italy. In 
the south of Italy, the dominion of the Grreek emperors still main- 
tained itself, and extended almost to Rome, and wnose mercenaries, 
consisting of many nations, were a scourge to the land. 

In Upper Italy, the native princes at one moment, and the kings 
of Burgundy in the next, took possession of the reins of govern- 
ment, and to a certain extent assumed the imperial tide. Lothaire, 
the last king of the Burgundian race, died in the year 950, and the 
Margrave, Berengar of Ivrea, took forcible possession of the authority. 
In order to fix himself more securely in the government, he tried 
to force the young and beautiful widow of Lothaire, the Prinoess 
Adelaide, to marry his son Adelbert. But this she steadily and 
firmly refused, and was imprisoned by the king; but with the assist* 
ance of an ecclesiastic she escaped, and took refuge at the court 
of Adelhard, Bishop of Reggio. This event gave occasion for 
Otho to interfere with his influence, in order to adjust this sad state 
of confusion in that part of Italy, and especially as he was appealed 
to by many nobles of that land, as also by the persecuted Adelaide 
herself. Accordingly in 951 he crossed the Alps with a well-ap* 
pointed army, besieged and took possession of Pavia, and as his first 
wife Edigatna had died in the year 946, he concluded by giving 
his hand to the beautiful Adelaide, whom he had thus so chival- 
rously delivered from her base persecutor. In the course of the 
following year he became reconciled with Berengar at Augsburg, 
and gave him Lombardy as a fief under German dominion. Yerona 
and Aquislegia however he yielded to Henry of Bavaria* 

These events however produced shortly afterwards great disputes 


in GennsoBj. Otho was aflfeciionatelj attached to hi? queen, Ade- 
laide and £]8 brother Henzy of Bavaria, and thej both aeqtiixed 
great influenoe with him. Lndolf, Otho's son by his fonner mar- 
ziige, felt himself, perhaps not nnjusdj, to be neglected, and was 
tfiud he would be excluded from succession to the throne by the 
dnldren his father might have by Adelaide. He was joined by 
Odio's son-inrkw, Conrad, Duke of Lorraine, Frederic, Ajxshbishop 
of Moitz, the Paktine Ainulf of Bavaria, and several other nobles, 
induced especially, as it would seem, by hatred to Henry of Bavaria, 
whose deceitful character had embittered ihem i^ainst him. It waa 
only with the greatest trouble and difficulty that Otho was enabled in 
the coune of the years 953 and 954, to suppress the revolt. Obstinate 
and flerere battles were fought in Saxony, Lorraine, Franconia, and 
Savaria; and it was in vain that Otho besies^ed his adversaries in 
Menti. as weU as afterwards in Ratisbonne. %ven the Hungarians 
renewed their destructive attacks, and were supported in them by 
Ae levoltttioiiary forces; they pursued their incursions through Ba^ 
Tuia, Franconia, Lorraine, a part of France^ and finally returned 
tiuong^ Burgundy and Italy. But it was just these very devasta- 
tions ccNnmitted by this arch-enemy of the empire which at last put 
an end to the revoluticHuuy war. Punished by their conscience, 
Connd and the Archbishop of Mentz returned to their allegiance 
and lionibled themsdves before the king, by whom they were par- 
doned and received again into &vour, and although in his obstinacy 
Luddf for a time continued ihe contest, he nev^theless in the eno, 
tfter the Palatine Amulf had been killed before Ratisbonne, likewise 
jieided submuasion to his father, whose kindled wrath had been 
Boftened down by the intercession of the princes. Ludolf and Conrad, 
l'owe?er, were not granted the restoration of their lost dukedoms, 
flat of Lorraine being given to Otho's faithful brother Bruno, who 
W likewise been already appointed to the Archbishopric of Cologne, 
whilst Borchard, Henry of Bavaria's son-in-law, was raised to the 
Dokedom of Swabia. 

Thus internal peace was happily restored, when in the year 955, 
^ Hungarians m still greater force, again invaded Bavaria, and 
l^^ged Augsburg. Udakich, the bishop of that city, defended it 
lienically, until the king advanced to its assistance and ^icamped 
^Icmff the river Lech. Hjs army was divided into eight battalions, 
of wnich the first three consisted of Bavarians; the fourth of the 
I'nnks under Conrad ; the fifth of the 61ite troops of warriors, selected 
from the entire army, at the head of which noble diviaon Otho 
l^nnself commanded; the sixth and seventh were composed of the 
Svaliaiis, and the eighth consisted of a thousand picked Bohemian 
vraemen in charge of the military stores and baggage, as from this 
^ no attack was anticipated. Scarcely had the Hungarians, bow- 
«^, caught a glimpse of the army, when^ with their usual rapi- 
^, &ey spsread out their innumerable hordes of cavalry, swam across 
^ Ledi, and attacked the camp b^nd the army; throwing the 


Bohemians and the Swabians into such disorder that the baggage 
became lost. The valiant Conrad, however, with his Franks, has- 
tened to their assistance and restored order. The decisive battle was 
fixed to take place on the following day, it being the day of St. 
Lawrence. The whole army prepared itself for the contest by 
prayer; the king received the holy sacrament, and he and the entire 
army swore to remain true to each other unto death. Otho thea 
raised the holy lance, the banner of the angel which had led to vic- 
tory at Merseburg, waving also now in front; the king himself 
fave the simal for attack, and was the first to fall upon the enemy, 
[e himseli, with his chosen troop, and Conrad, vrho felt anxious 
to recover by splendid deeds the good name he had lost in his rebel- 
lion, decided the battle. Thus a great and glorious victory was 
gained; the enemy's troops completely defeated^ and put to flight, 
nearly all being destroyed or made prisoners, and tnree of their 
leaders hung up like chiefs of robbers. Their own writer, Keza, 
assures us that out of both their large armies, consisting of 60,000 
men, only seven stragglers returned — with their ears shorn. 

But the victory of the Germans was dearly purchased. Many 
brave leaders fell; and the heroic Conrad, wno, during thegieat 
heat, had loosened his armour to cool himself a little, was mortally 
wounded in the neck by a stray arrow, and died — ^thus repaying 
with his blood the debt ne owed to his country. The Hungarians^ 
however, after the battle, did not venture to appear affain m Ger- 
many; and the whole of that beautiful country along the Danube, 
the subsequent margraviate of Austria, was torn from them, and by 
degrees repopulated with Germans, so that eventually it flourished 

Otho gained, in the same year, a victory not less important over 
the Slavonians, who, in conjunction with numerous aiscontented 
Saxons, renewed their attacks constantly. The Margrave Gero, one 
of the most important men under the reign of Otho 1., and who had 
for many years continued to protect the eastern frontiers against the 
Slavonians, now, together with the valiant Hermann Bilbiug, op- 
posed them with great vigour and success, until the king himself 
was enabled to advance to their aid ; and in a battle fought on the 
16 th of October, and which has been compared with that of Augs- 
burg, he completely conquered them. The brave Hermann Bilburg 
was subsequently created a duke of Saxony by Otho, although, as 
it appears, without having attained the government of the entire 
country, and the full power of the other dukes. 

Meanwhile, Berengar, the ungrateful King of Italy, to whom 
Otho had shown great kindness, again rebelled against him, and 
cruelly persecuted all who held with the King of Germany; and 
in their trouble they entreated assistance from Otho. He first 
sent his son, Ludolf, with an army across the Alps; its force was 
indeed but small, but the valiant son of Otho preyed the traitor 
BO closely, that he must have been destroyed, if Ludolf had not sud- 


denlj died in the bloom of youth, and, as it is supposed, bj poison^ 
in the year 957. Some few years elapsed, when m the year 961, 
Eing^ Otho himself, invited by the pope, John XII., the Archbishop 
of Milan, and others, accompanied by Adelaide, his queen, marched 
Iiimself a second time into Italy, after he had caused his son, Otho, 

Jet an infant, to be elected and crowned king. Berengar concealed 
imself among his castles, whilst his son Adelbert took refuge in 
C!oTsica ; but Otho proceeded direct to Rome. During his progress 
towards the capital, the gates of every town were thrown open be- 
fore the mighty King of the Grermans, and everywhere the inha- 
bitants were struck with amazement and admiration, when they 
beheld the powerful and lofty figures of the northern strangers. 

Otho considered it worthy of his own gloiy, as well as of the 
dignity of the German nation, to replace upon his head, on the 
2nd of February, 962, the Roman imperial crown, which Charle- 
magne had trai^erred to the Grermans, thereby testifying to the 
wbole world, that strength and power were with that people, and 
tbat their monarch was the first of all Christian rulers. It was 
under his protection and support, that the church and its spiritual 
head, the pope, were to exercise their influence over the people; 
and in him, the emneror, every enemy of order and justice would 
find a stem and implacable judge. Thus had, tikewise, Charles the 
Great founded anew the imperial dignity, and thus it was renewed 
by Otho I. It is true, the condition of Europe had changed since 
Charles's time; then almost all the Christian nations were under his 
dominion; whilst there were various independent kings who were 
net subject to him, the German king. Yet not one of them all 
conld compare himself with him ; the imperial crown had ever been 
jiistly r^arded as belonging to the Germans, and the ancestors of 
Otho had none of them given up their claim to it. Otho was espe- 
cially the protector of me Christian faith towards the north and 
east; he nued in Burgundy; his authority was the ruling one in 
Fiance, where his brother, Bruno, of Lorraine, acted as arbitrator and 
j'ad^, and as which he was acknowledged by all; and now, having 
objected Italy, to him alone belonged the dignity of Emperor of 
the Western Christendom. 

Many have spoken gainst the renewal of the empire, and have 
psrdcukrly censured King Otho, that he cast this great burden 
cpQuGennany. The union of the two countries was the source of the 
greatest misfortune to Germany, which sacrificed so many men for 
the foreign ally, whilst at home it was itself entirely neglected by 
ha own hereditary rulers. But what God had prepared as a great 
^=u»tion in the mte of a nation, and what a number of excellent 
i^n m former times acknowledged as necessary and good, cannot be 
i^^jected by the judgment of kter descendants. It has been the 
!^ with the papacy; many have expended their gall against it, as 
bmg only contributed to the diffusion of darkness, superstition, 
aod qnritaal slaveiy. But those who thus express themselves, mix 



in ibax censizre all ages, and are imable to transpoit ihemadyes 
into those wherein the imperial throne and the papal chair ireie 
neoessary Hnks in the great chain of historical deyeioj^ent. 

It is not difficult for the imprejudiced and candid nund to peroeiTe 
the grand idea which seryea as the foundation of both* In those 
times when rude force ezerciaed its dominion, the emperar, ^th 
the scales of justice in his hand, presided as jud&e between Ghm- 
tian nations, and exerted himself for the peace ca the world exter- 
nallj; whilst, on his part, the pope miided the empire of internal 
peace, piety, and virtue. As the condition of life was yet rude, and 
ciyil institutioiis still so imperfect, that the state could not of itadf 
undertake to superintend mental cultiyation; therefore, tlie church 
and schools, the clergy and teachers, necessarily stood under the 
aupremacy of the head of the church, whose care it was that the 
truth and gentleness of the divine word should illumine all Chns- 
tian nations, and unite them into one empire of faith. 

With respect to the danger which might threaten — ^viz. : that, is 
ihe first place, the one of these two powers might bring under its 
dominicm the body by means of the sword, and thence require what 
was unjust; and mat, in the second place, the other would so bind 
lihe conscience, that it might force it not to put £dth in truth itself, 
but merely in the word as given — a sufficient protection was pio- 
ridedy in either case, inasmuch as the said power, both of the em- 
peror and the pope, was less an external than an internal power, 
founded solely upon the veneration of nations. Such an authoiity 
can never be lastmgly misused without destroying itsel£ 

It is true that not all emperors have truly seized the idea of their 
dignity, or else, perhaps, such great obstructions stood in their way 
that they could not execute it; and thus, also, the popes not having 
always retained themselves within the limits of those rights which 
were accorded to them alone in the dominion of the church, bodi 
powers, which should have worked in unity together, and the one 
nave made the other perfect, have, in their enmity, at last destroyed 
each other. But — and this is the chief point — the grand idea itself 
must above all things be well distinguished from its execution. Hie 
more glorious it is, the greater is its contradiction to the fallibility of 
bxunan nature, and the low bias of many ages; and the ill-suooe^ of 
Its accomplishment cannot detract from its own dignity or from the 
greatness of those who have contended for it. 

With respect to the sacrifice of men in the Italian expedition, it 
depends upon the question, whether the object to be obtained was 
great and important or not. If it was so, the sacrifice must not be 
taken into consideration, if batitle and war may be allowed for a high 
and necessary purpose. And the emperors who with noble-minded 
dispositions and intentions, made this sacrifice for the idea of an 
empire, and the honour of their nation, are not, therefore, to be 

Thenobfe pride, however, felt by the Grermans in the thought, that 


thejand their rulers should be the central point of Christianitj; the 
conviction of their strength, made manifest bj the daring conrage of 
the small forces, composed of their coimtrjrmen, in Yentuiing across 
tbe Alps, and who, when reaching their destination, by the superiority 
of their nature gave laws to a numerous and popnlous nation; tbese 
recoDectioQS of the ancient ^lory of our nation, still existing in na 
the later descendants — all this is the reward for the sacrifice made. 

Other advantages, becoming more and more immediately manifest, 
aiiang j&om the imion of Germany with Italy, wiU be shown in the 
course of our history. We only mention in advance the great infinence 
which the example of the free Italian cities, and, in particular, the 
flounshiug state of commerce there, had upon the rise and succ^sful 
pogress of German towns, an advantage the importance of which 
cumot be too highly estimated. 

Otho speedily exercised his right of protectorship over the church, 
and his office of superior Christian ruler, against the same pope who 
had crowned him. John XII. had recalled from Corsica the son of 
Berengar, for the purpose of placing him in opposition against the em* 
poor; and, in addition to this was charged by the Roman people, and 
the dergy, with the most serious crimes. John sprang from a very cor- 
^ noe, and had become pope as early as in his eighteenth year. 
Otho hoeupon convoked a council, consisting of forty bishops and 
seventeen cardinals, and as John, upon the emperor's citation, refused 
to appear before these assembled fathers, he was deposed from his dig- 
^tjj and Leo VIII. chosen instead. The Roman people, as well as the 
wgj, now swore to elect no pope in fiiture without the consent of 
^ emperor. The popes from tnis time again called the emperor theix 
jcsd, and in acknowledgment of his supremacy, |daced his name npoa 
thor ocnns, and marked the years of nis reign upon their bulls. 

Bot the Romans soon forgot their oath, droTe away Pope Leo, 
^ recalled the deposed John, after whose death, which speedily 
£>Ilowed, they elected another pope, Benedict, in opposition. The 
{tttienee of the]emperor was now exhausted, and he exercised a heavy 
(p^uahment upon the perjured Romans. He returned again vrita 
ius aimy, hud waste the country around Rome, surrounded and be* 
^ed the city, and forced the inhabitants to surrender and open the 
ptes, and to give up the pope, Benedict, into his hands. He then 
<^voked a laree assembly of the bishops and clergy, and in their 
Presence Beneouct was divested of his insignia, and at once banished, 
whilst Leo was replaced upon the throne. 

Meantime Berengar, with his wife, WUla, had been taken pri- 
**er5 by the emperor's generals, and were conveyed to Bamberg, 
|riiere after their imprisonment they shortly died. The emperor 
™flelf, after he had thus established his dominion, returned in the 
^gJDnmg of the year, 965, to Germany, and celebrated at Cologne, 
^th his beloved brother, Bnmo, his mother, his son Otho, and 
^^I^ewB, together with a numerous assemblage of the nobles of his 


empire, the jotAiI event of bis letnm among tbem after a long and 
tijing time of abeenoe. 

But already in the following year, 966« his presence was again re- 
quired in Itafy through the disturbances canaea by Adelbert, the son 
of Berengar, and the revolt of the Romans against their pope. His 
appearance, however, once more produced order and peace; and he 
was now enabled to turn his attention to Lower Italy, where the em- 
peror of Grreeoe stiU had his governor, and then to Sicily, whence 
the Saracens threatened entire Italy. It was now Otho's wish to form 
an alliance with the &mily of the Grreek emperor, in order, thereby, 
to open a prospect for his own house upon Lower Italy, as well as to 
become enabled to ward off more effectually the inroads of the un- 

He sent for his son Otho from Grermany, and had him crowned 
as future emperor by the pope, and then despatched an embassy to 
Constantinople, for the purpose of demanding Theophania, the 
daughter of the emperor, in marriage for his son. Connected with 
this embassy Luitprand, whom Otho had made Bishop of Cremona, 
relates a singular circumstance, although, from his natred of the 
Greeks, with evident exaggeration : •' vVe arrived here," he says, 
**" in June, and were inmiediately supplied with a guard of honour, 
so that we could not goanywhere without an escort. On the second 
day of our arrival we proceeded on horseback to the audience. 
The Emperor Nicephorus is a short, stout man, so brown that, in a 
forest, he would strike us with terror. He said, ^ he lamented that 
our lord and ruler had shown the daring boldness to assume and ap- 
propriate Rome to himself, and to destroy two such honourable men 
as Berengar and Adelbert, and then to carry fire and sword even into 
Grecian countries : ' he added ' that he knew we had counselled our 
lord to it.' We replied : ' Our lord, the emperor, has delivered Rome 
from tyranny and sinners, which he has come from the end of the 
earth into Italy to accomplish, whilst others have remained indolently 
sleeping upon their thrones, and deemed such great confusion and 
anarchy beneath their dignity to notice. Besides which,' we added, ^ we 
have amongst us those brave and loyal knights, who are always ready 
and prepared to maintain, by single combat at arms, the justice and 
virtue of our master. Yet we have come here with views and 
intentions of peace, and for the purpose of demanding the Princess 
Theophania in marriage for Otho, our prince, and eldest son of our 
lord and emperor.' To which the emperor observed: 'It is now 
time to go to the procession. We will attend to this matter at a more 
convenient moment.' The grand procession, wherein the king ap- 
peared, attired in a long mantle, escorted by soldiers or city volun- 
teers, without halberts^ passed along slowly amidst the acclamations 
of the people. 

** When at table, he wished to censure our mode of warfare, saying 
our arms were much too heavy, whilst the Grermans appeared to be 
only valiant when they were drunk; and that the true Romans were 

OTHO'S son's marriage WITH A GRECUN PRINCESS. 173 

onlj now to be found in Constantinople. When lie said this, he made 
a sign to me with his hand that I should be silent. At another time 
lie spoke of the affiurs of the churchy and asked, mockingly, whether 
anj council had ever been convoked in Saxon j? I replied, ^ that 
where there was most sickness, there was most need of the ^atest 
number of doctors; that all heresies had originated with the Greeks, 
and therefore church councils were more necessary to be held 
amongst them. Nevertheless I knew of one council bemg assembled 
in Saxony, where it had been pronounced that it was more glorious 
to fifht with the sword in hand than with the pen.' 

"The emperor is surrounded with flatterers and sjrcophants; the 
whole city noats in sensuality, and even on holy d^ys of festival 
there are plays performed. Their power reposes not in their own 
Etrength, but is dependent upon the mercenary forces of Amalfl, and 
upon Venetian and Russian sailors. I believe firmly that four hun* 
dred Germans in open field would put the whole (xreek army com- 
pletely to flight." 

Nicephorus would not consent to the marriage, and Otho, as 
emperor, now sought to extend his dominion over the whole of 
Lower Italy, which was divided amongst the Greeks, Saracens, and 
native princes. The history of these expeditions is not clearly given ; 
but altogether it appears the imperial arms were victorious, although 
it was not Double to gain any durable advantage in that difficult 
country. Li December, 969, the Emperor Nicephorus was mur- 
dered in a revolt, when his successor very wilungly formed an 
alliance with the Emperor of Germany. The Princess Theophania 
was crowned in Rome in the year 972, by the Pope, John aHI., 
and united to the young prince, Otho. Ine emperor himself now 
ittumed to Germany, after an absence of six years, in order that he 
might enjoy some little peace at the close of a Hfe so rich in striking 

The great influence which Otho had acquired throughout the en- 
tire western world, was satisfactorily proved to the German nation 
during the last few months of his life. Having gone to Quedlin- 
burg to visit the grave of his mother, Matilda, he was there waited 
upon by the rulers of the Poles and Bohemians, the chiefs Mjesko and 
Boleslas, in order to receive his opinion and judgment in their afiairs; 
and these were immediately followed by the ambassadors of the Ro- 
mans, Beneventanians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Slavonians, Danes, and 
Hungarians, and the whole completed by an embassy from the Sa- 
Qtcens in Airica, which arrived shortly afterwards at Merseburg. 

Just at this time, however, he was very much affected by the 
(leath of his faithful friend, Herman, Duke of Saxony, who died 
in Qoedlinburg on the 27th of March^ 973. Grieved at the loss of 
that good man, says Widukind, he wandered solitary and dejected 
imongst the graves of those he had held so dear. Aias, how many 
of these had already preceded him in their departure from this life» 


leminding lum of his own past caneer, ao troubled, 00 eventful, bot 
jet in many lespects so glonoos I 

When, on the 6th of May he arrived at his castle in Memleben, 
where his Either had died, he felt himself extremehr weak. Neyer- 
theless he attended service in the chapel on the following moinin^, 

£Te his usual alms to the poor, and then reposed again. At mid- 
J he again appeared, and at the appointed time he took his meal 
at dinner with cheerfulness and enjoyment, upon which he attended 
the evoiing service. It was then he suddenly felt overcome with a 
burning fever, and he was assisted to a chair by the prinoes in attend- 
ance. But his head sunk; he felt his approadiing end, and indicat- 
ing his wishes by signs, he was immediately ass^ in the solemn 
service of the holy oommunicm. Just after he had received it, and 
when the holy ceremony was over, as Widukind states, he ended 
his mortal career, and without a sigh, tranquilly breathed his last, on 
the 7th of May, 973, aged sixty-one years, and in the thirty-eighdi 
of his reign. 

His body was conveyed to Magdeburg, his fiivourite dty, and 
bein^ deposited in a marble coffin, was placed as he had wished, on 
the side of his beloved Edgitha, in the ciiurch of St. Maurice. 

Otho IL, who, in the eighteenth year of his age, now succeeded 
to the throne, very soon had reason to find that the task which 
had thus early devolved upon his shoulders, of maintaining, in all 
its supremacT) the powerful empire of his father, extending, as it 
did, from the boundaries of the Danish country to nearly the ez- 
taisive points of Lower Italy, was not a little arduous and difficult 
For in the north and east, the Danes and Slavonians continued still 
unwilling subjects or neighbours; in the west, the French ruleis 
were jealous rivals; in the south of Italy, the Greeks and Arabs 
were anxiously watching for an opportumty to extend their power; 
whilst, in the mterior of Germany itself, many parties stooa in a 
condition of direct hostility towards each other. 

In this critical position, the necessary strength and energy of body 
were certainly not wanting in the young monarch, as was sufficiently 
shown by his figure, whi(£, although rather short, was, nevertheless, 
strong and firmly knit together, whilst his healthy constitution was 
indicated by the florid, ruddy hue of his cheeks, and which, in fact, 
procured for him the by-name of Otho ihe Florid, or Red. But 
wisdom and forethought were not as yet at his command; and it 
was for him a misfortune that, even asa child, hehadbeendefflgnated as 
the sovereign; for he thus became proud and violent, extreme and 
unequal in nis conduct; whilst mildness and severity were with him 
in constant interchange, and his liberality at times bordered upon 
extravagance itself. Ilad time, however, enabled him to moderate 
these strong passions of youth, and thus, by the experience of in- 
creased years, have ripened and brought to perfectKm his nobler 
qualities, he might then have been included in the list of the most 



disdngoishdd Tukn of our country. But fiite ordained otherwise; 
asd he yns struck down, in the Uoom of manhood, st the age ci 

The ^Tj met yeara of his reign were already fuUy occupied irith 
the di£^rent dilutes and diflsensions in the empire, bat mosQ 
especially with that produced by his consin Henry, the second 
Duke of Bavaiia or the Tmrbulent, who had revolted i^ainst -Ae 
young emperor, but who, however, was taken prisoner, and deprived 
of his dnchy; as likewise by the rising of Harold of Denmark against 
Otho, who was forced to march against him, and compktdly sob- 

Soon afterwards, France made an atteitipt to acquire the Lorraine 
dominicm, whidi, by the division of Verdun, was fixed in the centra 
betweoi Gennany and* France, but had now become united widi 
GeimaOT. The long, Lothaire, secretly collected his army, and 
irbiist OlikOf completely unprepared, was holding a court on tho 
occasion of the feast of ot. John, in 978, in the ancient im- 
penal palatinate at Aiz-la-Chapelle, he suddieiily advanced, and, 
by feroed marches, without even announcing hostilities, hastened 
on to that city, in order to take tiie emperor prisoner. Fortu- 
nately, Otho received intelligence of the enmv's approach in timo 
to enable hixn to c[uit the ^]ttce on the day before his arrivaL Lo« 
thaire took possession of Aiz-la-Chapelle, and plundered it, whilst 
at the same time he commanded the eagle, erected in the grand 
square of Charles the Great, to be turned towards the west, in dgn 
that Lorraine now belonged to France. But Otho forthwith held a 
diet of tke princes and nobles at Dortmund, r^^niesented to diemy 
vith the most impresave eloquence, the faithksBiiess of the Fienxh 
king, and sammoned them to march against the presumptuous enemy. 
Ihey aH tmanimoualy promised their assistance, forgetting every in- 
ternal dispute, for it now concerned the honour of the country. 

Accor£i^y, on the 1st of October, 97S, a considerable army 
marched into France, and without meeting with much oppoedtion, 
advuiced, by Kheims and Scnssons, as far as Paris. H^re, on tho 
right bank of the Seine, around the Montmartre, the Germans en- 
caunped, and their mounted troops scoured the whole of the country 
srowid, conmutting devastation everywhere. The citv itself was 
garrisoned bv the duke, Hugo Capet; the Seine divided the two 
umies^ but the French did not venture out to give battle. Otho, 
hofwever, could not succeed in taking the city, which was strongly 
futtified ; and as winter now advanced — it bemg the end of Novem* 
W — and fiicknesB very generally prevailed amongst the troops, ho 
oommeaced % retreat. This escpeoition was one of the first under- 
taken hj the Germans against Paris; the treacherous attack of the 
French king was now punished, nor did he venture to make an- 
^Mher. In the treaty of peace subsequendy concluded, Lorraine 
V15 secured to German v for ever. 

In the year 980, Otho set out on his first expedition to Italy, 


fix>m which, however, as it turned out, he was never to return. He 
was in hopes of being able to conquer the possessions in Lower Italy, 
which the Greek emperors still maintained, and to which Otho, by 
his marriafi^e with Theophania, laid claim The Grreeks, however, 
called to their aid the Arabs, both of Africa and Sicily. At first, 
Otho gained some advantages, and, after a siege of nearly two 
months, he made himself master of Salerno. He then took Ban 
and Taranto, in Apulia, and pressed forward, in the spiing of 982, 
to the mountains of Calabria. He beat the combined army of the 
Grreeks and Arabs, first at Rossano, where they had waited for 
him in a strong position, and then overthrowing them at Cotema, 
pursued them as &r as Souillace, where another decisive battle was 
fought on the 13th of July, 982. The imperial troops rushed 
with the greatest impetuosity upon the ranks of the Greeks, 
who held out bravely until mid-day, when they fell back upon 
Squillace. The successful troops, abandoning themselves now 
too eagerly to their elated hopes of victory and pillage, felt so 
secure, that they laid aside their arpis, and marched leisurely and 
confidently alon^ the banks of the river Corace. But here they 
were suddenly fiiilen upon by an ambuscade of the Arabs, hitherto 
concealed behind the rocks, and were speedily surrounded on every 
side by innumerable hordes of these swift warriors. The scattered 
troops were completely overpowered, and either cut to pieces or 
made prisoners by the enemy; and only a very small number of 
that army, but a short time before so triumphant, were enabled to 
save themselves. The emperor himself, as it were, by a miracle, 
escaocd by plunging into the sea, mounted as he was on his trusty 
steed, and swimming towards a Grreek vessel. The crew received 
him on board, not knowing the high rank of the imperial fumtive, 
yet hoping to receive a handsome ransom £rom him as a distin- 
guished Imight, for which they held him to be. By means of a 
slave on board, who had recogmsed, but not betrayed him, he saved 
himself a second time, near Rossano, by springing from this ship, 
and swimming on shore; and, after bbSAj reaching land, he entered 
that city, and there joined his queen. 

In tms disastrous scene, many German and Italian princes and no- 
bles perished, amongst whom were Udo, Duke of Franconia, the 
Margraves Bertholdand Giinther, Henry, Bishop of Augsburg (who 
had likewise fought in the ranks), togewer with numerous others; 
and all the conquered portions of the country in Lower Italy fell 
again into the hands of the enemy. 

Full of sorrow and vexation, tne emperor proceeded to Upper 
Italy, in order to coUect another army. He held a ^rand assembly 
in Verona, consisting of both German and Italian princes and no- 
bles, and his mother, together with his queen and infimt son, Otho^ 
then onlv three years old, were likewise present; he succeeded in 
having tne latter at once elected by all the princes as his successor. 
It was, at the same time, determined that the child should be taken 


back to Oermany, irnder the charge of Willigis, Archbishop of 
Mentz, and be crowned on the following Christmas (983), in the 
ancient imperial city of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

The emperor, himself, however, after he had regulated the affairs 
of Upper Italy, repaired to Rome. There he arranged to have hid 
cliancellor, Peter of Pavia, elected as pope (John XI V.); and this 
was his last public act. Overwhelmea with the important plans he 
noQiished in his heart for his next campai^ in Lower Italy, as well 
as with the excitement produced upon his impatient and nervous 
mind, by the sad reverses of the previous year, and the multifarious 
cares of his TOvemment, he was, m a few days, attacked by a raging 
fever, of which he died, in the presence of his queen, the pope, and 
sevend of his faithful adherents, on the 7th of December, 983, in 
the 28th year of his age. He was buried in the church of St. Peter, 
in Rome. The news of his death reached Aix-la-Chapelle the day 
after the coronation of his infant son had been celebrated in the as* 
sembly of all the princes. 

The very tender age of the new sovereign, Otho III., would have 
been a stesit misfortune for Germany, had not his mother, Queen 
IleoplLa.a woman of extraordina^ genius, been enabled to under- 
take, during his minority, the direction and control of the affairs of 
^e imperial government with adequate spirit and energy^ and if, 
lil^ewise, amon^ the greater portion of the German princes there had 
not existed a fiathftd adherence towards the imperial house, and a 
general desire for peace and order. For immediately after the death 
of Otho II., Henry, the deposed Duke of Bavaria, wler having been 
set at liberty by roppo, Bishop of Utrecht, into whose custody he 
hi been ^yL, ime forwi^ again ^th his pretensions, W 
even demanded, as nearest relation, to have the sole guardianship 
of the young Hng. The Archbishop of Cologne, W arin, under 
vhose protection tne infant had been placed, actually delivered him 
IjP to Henry, who held him imder his control during a whole year. 
Tne queen-mother, Theophania, who, according to her deceased hus- 
band's will, was to have me guardianship of the child, was still in 
Italy; and when she returned, Henry had already so strengthened 
his par^, that he contemplated taking possession of the government 
l™iael£ He had lost no time in forming a league with those no- 
bles who were devoted to his interests, and had already agreed with 
them under what conditions they should give their assistance and 
support towards raising him to the throne. At the same time, the 
French king, Lothabe, availing himself of the disunion in Germany, 
had again stretched out his hand to grasp the Lorraine coimtry, and 
^ got possession of the important town and fortress of Verdun. 

Ihe Slavonians on the northern and eastern frontiers who, during 
tile years that Otho H. was in Italy, had, by their united strength, 
™o6t entirely shaken off the German dominion, re-established pa- 
ganism, and made many successful depredatory incursions in the 
various Gremum possessions, now, together with the Dukes of Poland 



and Bohemia on their part, promised the rebel, Henry of Bavaiia, 
their assistance in his revolutionazj plans. Thus the condition of 
the Germanic empire had at this moment become extremely criticaL 

But the alliance of Henry ^th the barbarians only served to bms 
back to their proper recollection all those nobles of Saxony and 
Thuringia who had hitherto formed the majority of the ren^ade's 
partisans, and they turned from him and joined the ranks of the 
intimate party, headed by the Dukes Conrad of Swabia, Bernard 
of Saxony , ana the newly created Duke of Bavaria (recently elected 
by Otho n.), Henry the younger, of the house of Babenberg ; 
the whole of whom, with WiDigis,' Archbishop of Mentz, had still 
maintained their fidelity towards the young monarch and his royal 
mother. In Lorraine, also, a party rose up to defend the cause of 
Otho, the heart and soul of which was the disdnguished eccleaastic, 
Gerbert, the most learned man of his time ; possessing a knowled^ 
of all the sciences, but, more especially, so profoundly read m 
natural philosophy, that he was regarded as a magician. At the same 
time he possessed sreat powers of mind, with the necessary ener- 
getic ana penetratmg capacity for action in all political matters; 
and in his oi&ce of tutor to the yoimg emperor, to which he was 
appointed subsequently, he continued to assist him with his yaluable 
counsel until his death. 

Thence, by means of this combined operation on the part of all 
his faithful friends and stanch adherents of the imperial house, 
Henry the Turbulent, was forced, at a grand diet held at Bora,* 
in the mcmth of June, 984, to surrender into the hands of the 
queen-mother and grandmother, who were both present, the infant 
emperor. In the same year, also, the desired union of peace and 
friendship between Herury and the guardians was completely re- 
stored and firmly establianed at the diet of Worms ; Henry and 
his friends swearkg fealty to the sovereign, and which he continued 
to hold sacred from that day ; nay, through leading subsequently! a 
life of peace, piety, and charity, he earned for himself the by-name 
of the peaceful, mstead of the turbulent Henry. In the follow- 
ing year he received again his long wished-for duchy of Bava- 
ria, in return for resigning which, Henry the younger, was indem- 
nified with the Duchy of Carinthia, which had become again sepa- 
rated from Bavaria, together with the Veronian marches. Other 
nobles were bound to the new government by presents and gifts of 
land. The margraviates, erected to oppose the olavonians and Hun- 
garians, were fortified anew, and supplied with faithful guards; the 
Dukes Micislas of Poland and Boleslas of Bohemia returned to 
their allegiance^ and thus, by wisdom, prudence, and firmness, both 
the empresses restored once more the order and tranquillity of the 
German empire internally, and again promoted and established its in- 
fluential claims for respect externally. 

* The exact site of tbia pLaoe cannot be traoedL 


In the year 987; after the death of Lothaire, France likewise 
conduded a treaty of peace, and his son and successor, Lords Y., 
surrendered to Grermany the bishopric of Verdun. He was the 
last of the race of the Carlovingians on the throne of France; and, 
after bis death, in the same year, the house of the Capetingians 
followed in the person of Hugo C^pet, his successor. 

Li Rome, after the Empress Theophania had returned to Grer- 
lomjj ffieat disturbances broke out, and the patrician CrescentiuSi 
especia]^, exercised the greatest tyranny in the city. The empress, 
Lowever, having beheld Germany tranquillised, and the doimnion 
of her son establisihed, returned in 988 to Rome, and with her 
innate power and wisdom, caused the authority of Crescentius to 
be cbecked and restricted within its proper limits. Unhappily, this 
disdngnished woman died too soon for the times she lived in, her 
death taking place already in the year 991, at Nimwegen. 

The education of the young emperor, now eleven years old, 
benoeforwaid devolved more especially upon Bemw&rd, of Hildes- 
beim, a most excellent, and, for his time, a very learned man, into 
whose hands Queen Theoohania had already confided her son. He 
treated the boy with mildness, but at the same time with firmness, 
and gained his entire good-will and confidence. Bemward's position 
became one of Texy great and decided importance, in connexion with 
the relations of the government subsequentiy, particularly after he 
was appointed in the year 993, Bishop of Hildesheim; K>r in the 
northern frontiers of the empire there was continually fresh cause, 
even fiom year to year, for contention with the Slavonians or Nor^ 
nans, either by warding off their attacks at home^ or in order to 
punish them, by sending expeditions into their own land. 

When the yotithful monarch had attained his sixteenth year, his 
pmdmother, Queen Adelaide, caressed a desire to behold the 
bead of her mmdson decorated likewise with the imperial crown. 
Accordingly, m February, 996, he commenced his first Roman ex- 
pedition, and all the nations of the Oermans, Saxons, Franks, Bava- 
rians, Swabians, and Lorrainians, yielded on this occasion military 
ficnrice, and joined in the ranks of tne multitudinous train. He was 
crowned emperor on Ascension-day, the 21st of May in that year, 
by Gregory V ., the first pope of German origin who had, as yet, 
pesided on the papal chair, and who exerted himself with great 
perseverance to brinjg into order the confused state of the Roman 
^tions. Hie patncian, Crescentius, was pardoned for the turbu- 
^t prooeedin£« he had hitherto pursued ; but scarcely had the 
aixCietZed to Germany, wl^en the ^grateM Roman again 
bolted, and banished Pope Gregory from the capital. Otho was 
£»oed, therefore, to maxcn an army into Italy a second time in 
^ year 997, and conducting the pope back again to Rome, he 
^^^seged Crescentius, in the fortress of Engelsburg, which he took 
V slonn, and the traitor was forthwith beheaded. on the battlements 
<^ the boEg, in view of the whole army and people. 

V 2 


Pope Gregory died in the year 999, and Otho caused Tiis 
esteemed instnictor and councillor, Gerbert, to be elected to the papal 
chair, who adopted the title of Sylvester 11. 

Otho, who always felt a great preference for Rome and Italy 
generally, would fain have wished to remain longer there, but he 
was not able to bear the enervating effects of that hot climate. 
Altogether, he did not enjoy the strongest constitution, and his 
health was not always in the best condition; besides which, during 
the period between youth and manhood, he evinced a very marked 
expression of sadness and melancholy, and which often exercised 
upon his mind such an influence, that, completely overcome, he re* 
sorted to the most severe self-inflicted punishments and penalties. 
Thus he now made a pilmmage to Monte Gargano, in Apulia, and 
sojourned for a considerable time in the monastery of St. Michael, 
undergoing the most severe exercise of expiatory penance. Thence 
he visited the holy abbot, Nilus, near Grarta, wno, with his monks, 
lived there in wretched cells, and in the most secluded state of strict 
devoUon and humility. Here, likewise, Otho joined in the exercise of 

Erayer, and severe and rigid repentance. Afterwards, we again find 
im following the same course of extreme self-punishment in Ka- 
venna, for whole days together; and at one time he is said to have 
passed whole weeks with the hermits in the caves around, fasting and 

It was these Italian monks, and especially Nilus the holy, a 
venerable man, ninety years of age, who had succeeded in pro- 
ducing within the prince this melancholy view of life, and filled him 
with such continual desires to indulge in gloomy fits of abstinence 
and penitential sacrifices. He was particularly intimate with Adal- 
bert, the apostle of the Prussians, who, after the period of the first 
Roman campaign, had become his constant companion, not quitting 
the imperial apartments either by night or day, and who, partly bv the 
wish of Otho, proceeded to the north, in order to preach the holy 
gospel to the pagan Prussians, where he died a martyr's death, in the 
year 999. When the religious emperor returned, in the following 
year, to Germany, he was urged, by his affection towards this friend, 
to visit his ^ve in Gnesen. As soon as he came in view of the 
town, he dismounted from his steed, and continued the rest of liis 

5>ilgrimage to the sacred spot barefooted. Deeply affected, he poured 
brth his devotions over the tomb of his much-lamented friend, and 
in recollection of the scene, he raised the bishopric of Grnesen, on the 
spot, into an archbishopric, placing imder its authority the bishoprics 
of Breslaw, Cracovie and Colberg, promoting Adalbert's brother, 
Gaudentius, to the sacred ofiice. 

Combined with the emotions originating in Christian humility 
and worldly sacrifice, we find, however, likewise excited within Otho*s 
soul, (which appears to have been subjected to sensations of the most 
varied nature,) a high aspiring desire and aim, and, especially, an 
elevated idea of the supremacy of the imperial dignity. As ti^e son 


of a Roman-Grermanic emperor and the grandson of a Greek em- 
peror; already chosen as reigning king from the first moment of 
self-consciousness, and, likewise^ almost immediately afterwards de- 
corated with the imperial crown ; educated by the most learned and 
accomplished men of his time — a Gerbert, a Bemward, a Meinwerk, 
(of Paderbom), and by the Calabrian Greek, John of Placentia — 
he held himself in high respect, and far beyond the Germans, who, in 
his opinion, were still uncouth and savage. He tried to persuade them 
to lay aside their Saxon barbarism, and exhorted them to imitate and 
adopt the more refined and elegant manners of the Greeks, and he 
even introduced the customs and usages of the latter, amongst the rest, 
which he himself adopted, that of dining alone from a table more ele- 
Tated than the others, and to arrange the difierent places of honour ac- 
cording to rank and distinction. His tutor^ Gerbert, had himself 
fomked a high idea of the imperial dignity, which he had taken 
great pains to instil in the youthful mmd of his pupil. *^ Thou 
art our Gsesar, Itnperator, and Augustus," he wrote to him, " and 
descended from the noblest blood of the Greeks; thou art superior to 
them all in power and dominion," &c. Otho had indeed contemplated 
the restoration of the Roman empire, in its entire dominion, and no 
doubt he would have carried his intentions into effect, by making 
Rome the central point and the imperial seat of government, had he 
only been able to endure the climate. 

He regarded the founder of the Germanic-Roman empire, the 
great Charles, as his model, and when, in the year 1000, he visited 
Aix-la-Chapelle, he felt a desire to elevate his mind by the contem- 
plation of ms ancestor's earthly remains. Accordingly he caused the 
vault to be unclosed, and descended its steps, accompanied by two 
bishops. He found the embalmed body still in the position it was 
placed, sitting in the golden chair, covered with the imperial robes, 
together with the sceptre and shield. Otho bent his knee in prayer, 
then took the golden cross from the breast of the emperor, and 
I^aced it upon his own. After which, before leaving, he had 
the bodv covered with fresh raiment, and then again solemnly closed 
the vault.* 

Otho's strong predeliction for Italy drew him once more into that 
countiy. Rome and the Romans appeared to him in all the splen* 
iour of their ancient dominion of the world; but they ill-returned 
^ preference he showed for them. Whilst he was sojourning in 
Rome in the spring of the year 1001, the Romans revolted agamst 
^ because he had exercised his lenity towards the Tiburtinians, 
^Im), as in ancient times, still remained their hated enemies; they 
^)t him a close prisoner in his own palace during three days, so 
^t he could obtain neither food nor drink. Then it was that the 
^peror experienced that German fidelity and rude virtue were still 
'^^r than the smooth but slippery words and more accomplished 

* Tbeemperor, Frederick L, caiued the rault to be midoaed again in the 7ear 1 165 
adhid Uie bo^ dq^ted in a aaperb tomb. 


XDftimeis of his fayourite Italians. Bemward, the Bishop of Hildes- 
heim, placed himself, with the sacred royal lance, under the portico 
of the palace, and, as his biographer states, thundered against it most 
dreadfully; and thus, through the bishop's resolution and the aid of 
his faithml adherents, the emperor was at length rescued front the 
Romans. Neyertheless, he looked oyer their bad conduct, and peace 
was resumed for a short time longer, but thej soon again broke out 
against him. He then prepared at once to punish this false and 
treacherous people; but his spirits were now Droken, and he weak- 
ened and reduced his body still more by nocturnal watchings and 
praying often fasting, too, the entire week, with the single exoeptioii 
of the Thursday. He was attacked by a seyere and inflammatory dis* 
ease, (according to Dietmar, the smaU-pox,) and died on the 23d of 
January, 1002, at Patemo, in the twenty-second year of his i^e. 
The body was placed under the charge and protection of the few 
German princes and nobles who had accompamed the emperor, and 
they lost no time in conyeying it away from that hateful country into 
their natiye land. In the course of its inarch, howeyer, the funeral 
procession was frequently attacked by the Italians, who were eager 
to get possession of the corpse, and it was only by the united eSorts 
of the oraye and yaliant band of noble warriors tliat formed its escort, 
that the enemy was successfully repiilsed, and that, at length, after 
great difficulty, it arriyed safely at its destination in Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Thus all the male desoendsmts of Otho the Great, his two sons, 
Ludolf and Otho II., and his two grandsons, Otho III. and Otho, 
the son of Ludolf, died in Italy in me bloom of their youth; whilst 
of the imperial Saxon family, the great-grandson of l£enry L, Duke 
Henry of Bayaria, alone remained. The Germans were not at all 
inclined towards the Bayarian race; but Henry, who had, by means 
of his generous gifts, already enlisted the clergy on his side, and had, 
likewise, in his possession the crown jeweb and insignia, succeeded 
by degrees in gaining oyer one by one the indiyidual German states, 
so that, without a general electoral assembly taking place, each trans- 
ferred to him the royal authority with the sacred lance. 

Henry H. has receiyed the title of saint from his strict and pious 
life, as also from his liberality towards the clergy, already men- 
tioned. The latter had acqmred exlensiye possessions under the 
Saxon emperors, who were all yeiy generous towards them, and 
thence many of ihe leading members became powerful pribaces of the 
empire. Like Charlemagne, the kings saw with pleasure their increase 
of power , in order that they might use it as a counterpoise to that of the 
temporal lords, and at this period too, the spiritual power hdLd chiefly 
with the kings. Otho I. had already began to unite the lordships 
with the bishoprics, and Heniy II. tnmsferred to many churches two^ 
eyen three loraships, and to that of Gtmdersheim he eyen made over 
seyen. The partiality and attachment shown by the emperor to- 
wards the cler^ was, no doubt, taken adyantage of by many; still 
among that body there were likewise at this period many men who 


veie perfectly sensible of the peculiar dignity of their calling, and 
zeftloualj sought the spiritual welfare of their community, as weU aa 
tiie progress of the hmnan mind in the arts and sciences, and all true 
coltiyation; of which the tenth centuiy, espedally, presents us vdth 
seTcial illustrious instances. Bishop Bemward, of Uildesheim, who, 
m the urgent danger of tHe emperor, Otho III.^ in Rome, displayed 
80 much resolution, was a man of great intellectual mind, and 
iiourished the most profound feeling for all that was good and beau« 
tifuL During his many voyages, chiefly in Italy, he took young 
penozis with nim for the puipose of exercising their taste in tne oIh 
aervation of works of art, siA m theb imitation. He caused the pave- 
ments and churches to be oecorated with mosaic embellishment, and 
costly vessels of a beautiful form to be cast in metal, with whichhe 
was nunished by the mines of gold and silver in the Hartz, discovered 
under the Elmperor Otho I. Thus did Bemward nobly exert him- 
self for his diocese, and the school of Hildesheim was one of the 
most celebrated of that period. 

When in Italy, the Emperor Henry received a second by-name 
-—that of Huff^olz or the lame. For fresh disturbances hav- 
ing arisen there after the death of Otho HI., and the Italians hav- 
ing made a margrave, Ardovine, their king, Henry, in order to 
restore order, advanced thither in the year 1004, put Ardovine to 
ffigh^ and caused himself to be crowned, with the iron crown, at 
Pnvia. Out of r^ard for the city, and in order to show his con- 
fidence towards the citizens, he retained merely a small body-guard, 
and caused the rest of the army to remain outside the city m the 
cram. The capricious and inconstant disposition of the Italians im- 
mediately became manifested. They rose in revolt, stormed the 
palace of the emperor, and threatened his life. It was then, in spring- 
mg from a window, that he lamed his foot. His companions, al- 
though but few, fought like valiant men, and successfully resisted 
the attacks of the enemy until the Oennans beyond the city, hearing 
ihe tumult within, stormed the walls, and after severe fighting, broke 
tliioagh, paved their way to the palace and saved the king. The battle 
still continued most furiously in the streets and houses, whence the in- 
habitants hurled forth stones and other missiles upon the troops, who 
set fire to the whole city, and whicb destruction continued until the 
long pat a stop to the fury of his soldiers, and saved the rest of the 
mhf^tants. It was in this battle that the queen's brother, Giselbert, a 
^^liant youth, being killed by the Lombards, a brave kniffbt, Wolfram, 
his companion in arms, rushed upon the enemy, struck one of them 
SQch a powerful blow with his sword that, passing through the hel- 
^'^ it separated his head and neck down to the shoulders; and 
baring thus revenged the death of his noble friend, he returned, un- 
wounoed, back to his comrades. 

This conduct of the Pavians produced great disgust upon the 
<¥en4iearted and honest feelings of the king, and as nothing could 


induce him to remain longer in Italy, he returned to Germany as 
speedily as possible. 

Here, also, many disturbances arose during his reign, for the em« 
peror, who, with his good and pious qualities, was much too weak to 
hold the reins of his government, could not possibly maintain his 
authority. In particular the neighbouring Pohsh duke, Boleslas, an 
ambitious, turbulent man, who had conquered and partially retained 
Bohemia and Silesia, gave him much trouble. For these coun- 
tries, however, the usurper swore allegiance to the Gferman emperor, 
but beyond this he maintained himself independently, and made 
himself feared on the other side even by ijne Russians and the Greek 

Henry visited Italy a second time in 1013, and re-established the 
pope, Benedict VIIL, in the papal chair; he swore to protect him 
faithfully, and was by him crowned emperor. Returning to Ger- 
many, he was especially occupied with founding the bishopric of 
Bamberg, his favourite seat, which he richly endowed, and had de- 
termined it should serve as a monument of nis own piety as well as 
of that of his empress, Cunegunde. In the year 1020 he was much 
gratified by a journey which Pope Benedict made to Germany, who 
visited him in Bamberg, and consecrated his holy foundation. 

The object of the pope's presence in Germany was more especially 
to induce the emperor to undertake another expedition to Italy, in 
order to prevent the Greeks, who threatened Rome from Lower 
Italy, from attacking and taking possession of that capital 

And Henry, who at once perceived the danger to which the church 
of Southern Italy was exposed of bein^ robbed by the Greeks of ita 
central point of operation, marched forth, for the third time, in 
the year 1021, for that country, drove the Greeks easily back to 
the most extreme points of their possessions in Lower Italy, con- 
quered Benevento, oalemo, and Naples, and was everywhere greeted 
and hailed as king. But as he never liked to remain long in that 
country he returned to Germany in 1022, and devoted himself to 
the exercise of devotional and peaceful works. 

Henry died in the year 1024, aged fifty-two, at his fortress, Grone, 
in the Leingau (near Gottingen), which had often been the seat of 
the Saxon emptors. His body was conveyed to Bamberg and there 
interred. Subsequently, 122 years after his death, he was added to 
the calendar of saints by Pope Eugene IH. With him the house of 
Saxony became extinct, which, like that of theCarlovingians, had com- 
menced powerfully but ended weakly. Germany now required once 
again a vigorous and great-minded ruler, in order to save it from in- 
ternal dissolution, as well as to preserve it from losii^ its dignity 
among the other nations; for, during the minority of Otho IH. and 
under Henry II., the imperial vassals had committed many usurpa- 
tions based upon the imperial prerogatives. The sons of the nobles, 
endowed witn imperial feods^ retained them as if by right of inhe- 


litance, and many disputes were settled only by an appeal to the 
sword withoat any regard being paid to the emperor's supreme judi- 
cial power. These wars devastated in particular the south of Ger- 

Meanwhile the Christian countries wherein, together with the do- 
minion of the church, a regard for the imperial dignity was dissemi- 
nated, were now become considerably increased in number. Towards 
the year 1000 Christianity became still more deeply rooted in Hun- 
gary, Poland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. 



Anemblage of the Ducal States— The Election— Conrad IL, 1024-1039— Be-esta- 
Ushes Internal Peace — ^Italj — Canute, King of England and Denmark— Burgundy 
—Ernest, Duke of Swabia— The Faust-Recht— Conrad's Death, 1089— Henry 
HL, 1099-1056— The Popes-Henry's zeal for the Church— His Death, 1056— 
Henry 17., 1056-1106— His Minority— The Archbishops— Albert of Bremen- 
Henry and the Saxons— Their Hostility— Henry's Reyenge— Pope Gregory 
^n.~His Ambiticm— The Bight of Inyestiture— Rupture with the Emperor— 
Heniy aamununicated — ^The ^peror a Pi^tiTe — ^The riral Emperors and Popes 
— Sndolphus of Swabia and Pope Clement UL— Henry's Death, 1106 — ^Henry V. 
]l06-]i25— Bom&— Pope Pascal n.—The Investiture Contest— Sanguinary Bat- 
tie— Heoiy crowned Emperoi^— His Death, 1125— The First Crusade, 1096-1099— < 
I^fthaiiettie Sanm, 1125-1137. 

Th£ Cr^manic states, each under its duke, assembled for the elec- 
tion of a new emperor, upon the vast plains along both banks of the 
Wune, between Mentz and Worms, near Oppenneim. There were 
eight dukes; Conrad the Younger, who exercised the ducal power in 

Hemy of Bayaria, Adalbert of Carinthia (the new duchy, separated 
^der Otho 11. from Bavaria, and which contained the passes into 
Italy), young Ernest of Swabia, and Othelric or "Dlric, of Bo- 
liemia. The Saxons, the eastern Franks, the Bavarians, and Swa- 
^s, together with the Bohemians, encamped themselves on this 
ade of the Rhine; the Rhenish Franks, and those of Lower and 
L'pper Lorraine on the other side. Thus a splendid and numerous 
^^einbly or diet of electors was here reflected in the waves of the 
^t German stream. 

The voices, after long deliberation, inclined in favour of the 
fiankishraoe, from which twoConrads, surpassingall the rest in virtue 
>fid consideration, presented themselves — Count Conrad the Elder or 
4e Salian, and Conrad tfie Younger, the duke. They were kinsmen^ 
^ flODs of two brothers, and descended from Conrad the Wise, the 
mini of the daughter of Otho L, who fell in the battle with the 


Hungaiians on the Lech; both were worthy of thdr ancestors, and 
upon the female side related to the Saxon imperial brancL The 
choice balanced between them; the elder Connid then advanced to 
the side of the younger one, and thus addressed him: '* Do not let I 
us allow our fiiendship and interest to be disturbed by the contest 
If we dispute together the princes may elect a third, and posterity 
will then say we were both unworthy of the crown. Methmks tliat 
whether the election fidl upon either you or me, we shall still botli 
be honoured — I in you and you in me. If the crown be awarded 
to you, I YnOil be the first to do homage to you; vow, therefore, my 
friend and brother to do the same by me." To this the younger 
prince agreed, and forthwith made the vow likewise. 

When the election commenced, and the archbishop, Aiibo of 
Mentz, was first to give his vote, he named Conrad the Elder; the 
archbishops and bishops followed. Amoi^ the temporal princes, the 
Duke of the Franks was the first in rotation, and tne yoimger Con- 
rad arose, and with a loud yoice gave his vote to his cousin, Coniad 
the Elder^ who seized him by the hand, and placed him beside him. 
The remaining princes followed on the same dde, and the people 
shouted their applause. Frederic of Lorraine and the Archbishop 
of Cologne alone were discontented, and quitted the assembly; but 
wben they beheld the unanimity of all the others, and tlikt the 
younger Oonrad had at once acceded to the choice made, they be- 
came reconciled, and returning, rendered homage with the rest of 

Tne new king was now conducted to Mentz, to be there solemnly 
anointed and crowned. On the road to the diurch, the processon 
was stopped by the number of petitioners, who prayed for jus- 
tice, llie bishops became impatient, but Conrad listened tranqinlly 
to their prayers and said: ^' To exercise justice, whether it be con- 
Tenient to me or not, is my first duty." These words were heard 
with joy by all around; thence great hopes were formed of the new 
king, and Conrad did not disappoint them. He commenced his reign 
by visiting all parts of Germany; he practised justice, restored order, 
and showed so much strict judgment^ combined with mercy, that 
all united in one opinion, that no king once Charlemagne had so 
well merited to occupy his seat upon the imperial throne. Robbers 
be punished so severely, that now there was more general security than 
had been known for a lon^ period^ whilst conunerce flourished once 
again. He secured for himself and his race the voice of the people, 
by promoting the development of the municipal institutions by every 
possible means. 

Thus did he govern his kingdom internally. In his foreign 
zelationSy he laboured equally for the dignity and greatness of Crer- 
many. Shortly after the commencement of his rei^n, he advanced 
into Italy, where in Milan he was crowned king of Italy, and subse- 
quently m Rome, emperor. The festival was rendered more august 
by the presence of two kings, Rudolphus of Burgundy, and the great 


Canute, King of England and Denmark. With the latter, Conrad 
foimed a strict friendship; he united his son, Henry, with his 
daughter, Kunihilda, and regulated also with him the limits be- 
tween Germany and Denmark, so that the river Eider, between 
Holstein and Silesia, became the boundary of both ooimtries. He 
thus gave up, it is'true, the margraviate of Silesia ; but the country was 
difficult to defend, and Conrad was the gainer in other respects* 
Henry 11. had already concluded an hereditary alliance with King 
Rudcuphus of Burgundy, so that after his death Burgimdy should &fi 
to G^many. Conrad renewed the treaty, and after the death of 
Rudolphus he took actual possession of that country, although a 
portion of the Bur^undians had called forward Coimt Odo, of 
Champagne, whom, however, Conrad drove back, and was forthwith 
recognised as king. This kingdom comprised the beautiful districts of 
the south-east oi France, which were afterwards called Provence, 
Daupheny, Franche Comte, and Lyons, together with Savoy, and a 
portion of Switzerland, thus placing Germany, by means of ihe im- 

Grtant sea-poarts of Marseilles and Toulon, in connexion with the 
editerranean: an important acquisition, which, however, after- 
waida, in the times of weaker emperors, became neglected, and fell 
into the hands of the French. 

Cknuad, however, was forced to experience, that this very acqui- 
sition of Burgundy became a subject of dissension in his own family, 
and thence a source of vexation to himself. His step-son, Ernest, 
Duke of Swabia (the son of his queen, Gisella, by her former hus- 
Ittnd Hennan, Duke of Swabia), considered he possessed the first 
nght to the crown of Burgmidy, because his mother was the niece 
of Rudolphus, King of Burgundy. Dissatisfied with Conrad's 
conduct, in getting this territory annexed to the German em- 
})iie, he deserted him in the Italian campaign, excited dissen- 
sion against him in Germany, and was in hopes, by the aid of 
his fiiends, to invade and conquer Burgundy. Conrad, however, 
hastened back, disappointed him in his enorts, and as Ernest could 
not succeed in gaimng over the Swabian vassals to his purpose, he 
was forced to surrender at discretion, and his step-father sent him a 
prisoner to the strong castle of Giebichenstein, in Thuringia. After 
sn imprisonment of three years, he set him at Hberty, and offered 
to restore him to his duchy, if he would deliver up to him his 
fi^icnd and principal accomphce, Count Werner, of Kyburg. This, 
however, Ernest hesitated and finally refused to do, and he was accord- 
iijgly deposed ; and at a diet of the princes and nobles of the em- 
^ be was banished the country, together with all his partisans. 
He fled for refuge to his cousin, Coimt Odo, of Champagne, ac-^ 
companied by Coimt Werner, and a few faithful friends; but soon 
^fteiwards returned, whilst his father was on an expedition against 
^ Hungaiians, concealed himself amongst the caverns of the Black 
forest, and once more endeavoured to sain adherents in Swabia. 
Bat the Bishop of Constance, as administrator of the duchy for 


Gisella's second son, Herman (yet a minorV to whom Goniad had 
transferred it, sent Count Mangold, of Velirmgen, against him, when 
both armies met (lOdO), and fought a severe battle, until both 
Ernest and Werner, together with Mangold, were killed. The ad- 
ventures of Duke Ernest became the subject of many heroic lays 
and legends; and the most wonderful deeds performed by his annj 
were connected with his name, and eventually, collected together 
by later poets, formed one entire work. Meantime, the campaign 
undertaken by the emperor against the Hungarians, proved tri- 
umphant, ana he obliged Stephen, their king, to sign a favourable 
treaty of peace. He forced, also, to their former obedience the 
Slavonian and Vandalian tribes, who were still seated on the Oder, 
and northwards on the Elbe; and Hamburg, which they had de- 
stroyed, raised itself by degrees from its ruins. 

The emperor was also a zealous promoter of the institution 
whereby the church sought to set some limits to the rude force of 
ikkQ/aust-reckt — namely, that of the Peace of Grod, From Wednes- 
day evening at sunset imtil sunrise on Monday morning, all feuds 
were to cease, no sword be raised, and universal security protect the 
affairs of Ufe. He who should transgress against the peace of Ghxl 
rtreuga or treva dei), was to be pimished with the heaviest ban. 
Odilo, of Clu^y, is named as the originator of this institution, and 
the clergy of jBurgundy and the low countries, where the most san- 
guinary feuds prevailed, with the consent of Conrad, first united 
Siemselves, in the year 1033, for this purpose. 

Conrad returned sickly from his second expedition into Italy, 
wherein disease reduced his army; and his own step-son, Herman 
of Swabia, and Kunihilda, the voung consort of his son Henry, the 
daughter of the Danish king, both died th^re. He himself never 
thoroughly recovered, and med at Utrecht, in 1039. His biogra- 
pher, Wippo, thus speaks of him : — " I should expose myself to the 
charge of nattery, were I to relate how generous, now steadfast, how 
undaunted, how severe towards the bad, how good towards the 
virtuous, how firm against the enemy, and how unwearied and urgent 
in afiairs he was, when the welfare of the empire demanded it." 

His consort, Gisella, one of the most noble of German women, 
and who loved him most tenderly, refused every consolation, and 
mourned her husband in the convent of Kaufimgen, near Cassel, until 
her death. The corpse of the emperor was brought to Spires, and 
deposited in the noble cathedral which he himself had founded. 

This emperor had evidently formed the idea, and which maybe called 
the fundamental idea of the whole Salic imperial race — ^namely, to 
ndse the imperial power of Germany to the most unlimited extent, to 
restrict the dominion of the princes within narrow boimds, and, in 
order to complete this, he endeavoured to ^n, by every favour, the 
assistance of the inferior vassals, who hsMl almost become slaves to 
them. To this tended an important law ^constitutio de feudis), 
which Conrad made in the year 1037, on his second expedition to 


Italy, fer that coimtiy, and which was soon afterwards transferred 
to Geimanj, namely — tJiat feudal estates, which had belonged to 
the &ther, should not be taken capriciously from the sons, but 
only in criminal cases, decided by tribunals composed of their 
oo-vasBals. Thereby he prepared for the lesser vassals the full right 
of {property; so that from them there must necessarily have arisen a 
distmct, free order, for the support of the emperor agamst the greater 
vassals. These, on the contrary, and particularly ihe dukes, he 
sought to bring back to their old condition of mere imperial func- 
tionaries; and even gave the duchies of Swabia, Bavaria, and Frau- 
conia, to his son Henry, who seemed fully adapted to carry stiU 
iardier his great and extensive plan. Had success attended it, Ger* 
many would have become earlier what France became later, an undi- 
Tided, powerfiil empire. But the Salic race was stayed in its mid- 
career, partly by its own &ultf and nartly by the rapid rising 
of the papal chair, whose authority developed itself with astonishing 
enerey, and whose victory over his grandson, Henry IV., the power- 
ful Conrad certainly had not anticipated. 

Conrad's son, Henry, or the black, whom ihe Oermans had 
chos^ during his father's life, was twenty-two years of age; but the 
hopes formed of him were OTeat, and they proved not unfounded, 
like his lather, he was of a high mind and a determined will, obsti- 
nate and firm, and at the same time eloquent and well-informed, for 
theprudent Grisella had early induced him tocultivatehis mind as much 
as possible by reading, although at that time books were very scarce. 
No emperor since Charlemagne maintained more vigorously the im- 
pt^ dignity in Italy, Germany, and the neighbouring lands^ or 
niled more powerfully within the limits of his extensive empire, 
^at served to increase his great &me was, that he so humbled the 
^ Hungarians, who a himdred yeafts before were the terror of 
Germany, that the Hungarian nobility, after a lost battle, took the 
oath of allegiance to him in the city of Stuhlweissen, in the year 
1044, and tnat Peter, their king, re-established by Henry, received 
the country as a feud from him, b^ means of a golden lance. It is 
tnie this was no durable subjection; stLU the act of itself is suf- 
ficiently glorious for Henry, whilst thereby he gained a portion of 
Hungary, from Eahlenburg to Leitha, which he united with the 
marches of Austria. 

The king then, in 1046, turned his attention towards Italy, to 
^e the great disorders existing there. There three popes held their 
sway at once: Benedict IX., Sylvester HI., and Gregory IV. 
Heniy, in order to be wholly impartial, convoked a i^uncil at 
"^utn. Here they were all three deposed, as irregularly elected; 
iod then, in Rome, at the desire of the collective clergy and no- 
bility, Henry, who, following the example of Charlemagne, had 
noeired the di^ty of patrician for himiself and successors, made 
t Gennan, Smdger, Bishop of Bamberg, pope, who took the 
^^e of Clement II.; and at the Christmas festival, 1046, he 


crowned Henry emperor. Subsequently, Henry gave the Romans 
three successive popes, for they were obliged to promise him, as 
they had done to Otho, to acknowledge no pope without the impe* 
rial sanction. 

After these, the papal chair was filled by two more Cierman 
popes, and these six pontifs from Germany: Clement H., Dama- 
sus n., Leo IX., Victor H., Stephaa IX., and Nicholas II., who 
succeeded each other in very quick, but iminterrupted rotation, 
laboured with one concurring mind for the good of the church, and 
raised it again &om the ruinous state into which it had been thrown, 
through dissension in Rome itself, the immoral conduct practaaed by 
many of the clersy, and the purchase of spiritual offices for money. 
Thus they paved the way for theplans of that spiritual dominion of the 
world, which Hildebrand or Pope Grregory VH., afterwards suc- 
ceeded in executing. In our subsequent history of this celebratol 
pope, we shall allude fiirther to this question. Here, however, we 
must at once say, for the honour of mese Oerman pontifs, that by 
their effi}rts, influenced by a noble and firm mind, and true zeal, 
towards promoting the punty and dignity of the church, they must 
be classed as the precursors in the reforms eventually introduced. 
Leo IX. (formerly Bruno, Bishop of Toul, and a rmtion of the 
Emperor Henry III.), was especially to be esteemed as a man of the 
most elevated moral virtue and true nobleness of mind. Ht5i hu- 
mility was so great, that after he was elected pope, he left his 
bishopric of Toul for Rome on foot, and with the pilgrim's staff in 
hand, he journeyed all the distance thus lowly, accompanied by Hil- 
debrand, then cnaplain to the deposed pope, Ghr^ory VI., in whom 
Leo had already recognised a man of extraordinary genius. 

His zeal for the purification of the church urged him forthwidi 
to operate against the prevailing system of Simonism, or the pur- 
chasmg of spiritual offices with money, and the immoral life led by 
the clergy. He presided at three councils which were convoked for 
this purpose, in Itome, Rheims, and Mentz; and he succeeded in 
bringing to bear, within a year, the most important reforms. He 
then travelled from the one country of Christendom to the other, 
wherever his presence was most necessary, in order to promote and 
establish personally the purification of the church. He died in the 
year 1054, too soon for the great work he had in hand; but his 
successors continued to complete what he had commenced according 
to his grand plan. 

Meantime, in Germany, Henry ruled as a wise and powerful sove- 
reign. He abandoned, certainly, to other princes, the duchies which 
he nimself formerly possessed, out only to such as were rulers of 
very limited power, and who received, it is true, the name but not the 
ancient prerogative of duke, as viz. : Bavaria to Henry of the house 
of Luxemburg, and, after him, to Conrad, of the Palatinate; Caiinthia 
to Giielf, son of Guelf, the Swabian count ; Swabia itself to Otho, 
Count Palatine, on the Rhine. In Swabia, the Ghielfic house vraa 

henry's personal courage— his death. 191 

Terypowerfiil, and would theiefore'willinglyliaye possessed the duchj; 
but it was precisely for that reason, that Henij placed Count Graelf 
m Carinthia, in order that the duke might not possess ^reat hereditary 
lands in the country. Thus he acted as he pleased with the imperial 
dignities, whilst he £Etyoured the inheritance of the smaller fiefi. 
Upper Lonraine passed through him to Count Albert, of Longwy, 
an ancestor of the present Austrian house. 

It was about this time that Henry gaye a strildng proof of his 
personal courage, for at an interview which took place between him 
and King Henry of France, near Mentz, in the year 1056, a dispute 
arose between them, and the latter king chaiged him with a breach 
of his word. As it beseemed, Henry repUed only by casting his 
ganntlet down before the kin^, who, howeyer, during the following 
night, retired within his fixmtiers. Nothing could be more pleasing 
to the Germans than this chiyalrous bearing of their emperor. 

Henry now returned to Saxony, where his fiiyourite seat Croslar 
lay, in me Haitz, and which he raised to a considemble city. We 
most not wonder that a king of the Frankish race should fix his 
aeatin Saxony, considering that he did so on account ofits rich mines, 
which existed close to this said Goslar, in the Hartz. Mines, in 
those times* were the exclusiye property of the emperor. In Groslar, 
Heniy built a fortress^ a palace, churches, and ramparts round the 
town, and he obliged the Saxons of the surrounding countiy to 
render excessiye service. This increased the ill-will they felt at 
seeing an imperial fortress thus suddenly created in their country; 
and although under so severe and powerful an enemy, they could 
not give utterance to their thoughts, it neyertheless produced the 
more bitter fruits for his son. H^iry died suddenly, in the year 
1056, at Bothfeld, near Blankenburg, at the foot of the Hartz (whi- 
ther he had gone to hunt), in the prime of Ufe, bein^ only tnir^« 
seven years oiidy andin the midst of great plans which ne formed &r 

This emperor was strictly and bigotedly pious, notwithstanding 
bis strong mind and sternness of will. He never placed his crown 
upon his head without having previously confessed, and receiyed 
tnm his confisssor permisaon to wear it. He likewise subjected 
Inmsdf to the expiatoiy penalties and punishments of the church, 
and often submitted his Dody to be scourged by his priests. Thus 
the rude and barbarous manners of those tunes held in no contempt 
corporeal chastisement— as practised among them to curb the vio- 
knee of pasEion — even when inflicted upon tiie body by the suf- 
ferer's own lash. 

Henry HI. may, nevertheless, be named amongst those emperors 
who have proyed the cultivation of their own mind, by their loye for 
theadenoes, by their predilection in fayour of distingmshed men, and 
I7 tbor promotion of intellectual perfection generally. Eyer since 
he had received the poem addressed to him in Latin by Wippo (the 
hogiapiier of his father), in which he encouraged him to have the 


children of the secular nobles educated in the sciences, he con- 
tinued to evince the greatest interest in the erection of schools. 
Those of Li^ge, Lobbes, Gemblours, Fulda, Faderbom, St. Gallen, 
Keichenau, &c., flourished especially under his reign; and it was 
in the two last-mentioned schools that Herman le Contracte, one of 
the most learned men of that time, received his education. This 
extraordinanr philosopher was, from his childhood, such a cripple, 
that he could only be conveyed from one place to another in a 
portable chair. He wrote also with the ^eatest difficulty, and 
stammered so painfully to hear, that his pupils required a long time 
before they could understand him; whilst, however, he was so ad- 
mired and sought after by them, that they flocked to him in multi- 
tudes from all parts. His chronicles l)elong to the most distin- 
guished historical sources, including the first division of the 11th 

The sciences and the arts under Henry III. progressed to an extent 
by no means unimportant; and if much became neslected under the 
long and turbulent reign of his successor, Henry I V ., still the foun- 
dation was then laid for that glorious development which is presented 
to us in the after-times, under the reign of the Hohenstaiifens. 

The princes had already recognised the succession of Henry^s 
son immediately on his birth. Unfortunately for the empire, 
upon the death of his father the young king was only a child six 
years old. 

His education and the government of the realm were at first in 
the hands of his excellent mother Agnes, who, however, was not in 
a condition to retain the nobles of the empire in dependance, and 
thus complete the father's work. She sought rather by favouring 
some of them to acquire support for her government, and therefore 

give Swabia, and at the same time the dominion of Bui^rundy, to 
ount Rudolphus of Rheinfelden, and Bavaria to Otho of Nordheim, 
confirming the grant with a dangerous clause, viz., that these dig- 
nities should remain hereditary in their houses. Hemy, Bishop of 
Augsburg possessed especially her confidence, but this speedily caused 
envy and jealousy. At the head of the discontented stood the Arch- 
bishop Hanno of Cologne, an ambitious and prudent, but austere 
and severe man. In order to gain possession of the youmr king, and 
thereby of the government, he went at Easter in 1062 to Kaiserwerth 
on the Rhine, where at that moment the court of the empress was as- 
sembled, and after the dinner he persuaded the boy to go and view a 
particularly beautiiul vessel, recently built. He had scarcely, how* 
ever, got onboard, when the sailors, at a signal given by thearchbishop, 
loosened her moorings, and rowed to the middle of the Rhine, which so 
much terrified the youth, that he suddenly jumped into the river, and 
would certainly have heea drowned had not Count Eckbert of Bruns- 
wick sprang auer him and saved him at the hazard of his life. He was 
cheered up, and many fair promises being held out to him, he was thus 
decoyed away and taken toCologne. Hismotherwasmuchalannedand 


griered, and when she perceived that the German princes had no 
m^r confidence in her, she determined to conclude her life in quiet 
retirement, and went to Rome. 

Hie Archbishop Hanno, in order that it mi^ht not appear as if he 
ivBnted to retain the highest power in his own hands, made an order 
that the joung king should awell by turns in the different countries 
of Germany, and that the bishop, in whose diocese he dwelt, should 
for tke time being, have the protectorship and the chief TOvemment 
of the kingdom. His chief object, however, was to get we mind of 
the prince under his own control, but in this he could not succeed. 
His character and manner were not such as to gain the heart of the 
youth, for he was severe, haughty, and authoritative, and as it is re- 
nted of him, that he even applied the scourge with severity to his 
&ther, the powerful Henry tne Black, it may likewise be presumed 
that he often treated the vouth very roughly. Among the remaining 
Inshops there was one who was a very cufierent man, as ambitious as 
Hanno, but subtle and flattering, and who gained the youth by grant- 
ing aU his wishes :tliis was the Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen. This 
ambitioiis man wished to unite the whole of the north of Germany into 
one great ecclesiastical dominion, and to place himself at its head as a 
fleoond pope. In bust he was already invested almost with the authority 
and dignity of a patriarch of the north; for byhis zealous efforts to pro* 
pagate Christiamty there, many bishoprics nad been founded in the 
olaFonic countries, such as Ratzeburg and Mecklenburg, as well as 
Bsmnl churches in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. He hated the 
temporal princes, because they stood m the way of these objects and 
in Older to suppress tiiem he wished to raise the imperial power to 
nnlimi t ed despotism. Hanno of Cologne and his confederates stood 
in the most decided opposition to him in this view, for they endea* 
Tomed to raise the digmty of the princes upon the ruins of the empire; 
and thus both parties, without any reserve, went passionately to ez- 
tiemea. Whilst Hanno was on a journey to Rome, where he re- 
mained some time, Adalbert obtained entire possession of the young 
ptince. Nothing worse could have happened to the youth than to 
be salrject to the influence of two such different men, and to this 
change of treatment so entirely opposite ; for after having been treated 
with the greatest severity, he was now allowed to sink by too great 
lenity and induls^nce into dissipation and sensuality. 

Henry was distinguished for great mental as well as physical 
qoalities; he was endowed with daring and ardent courage, quickness 
of resolve, and a chivalric mind which might have been directed to 
the most noble objects. But now his active and fiery nature became 
transformed into a revengeful and furious disposition, and his elevated 
Bond degenerated into selfish pride and domination. Besides which, 
he loved sensual pleasures, and thence became oflen idle and care- 
kaa A good thought and a praiseworthy, honourable action in him 
dianged speedily to an opj>osite character, because throughout hia 
vhob life he was wanting in a fixed leading principle wnereon to 



. bM6 his acdoBS. That steadj calm repoae and modeiatioii, ever 
inmratable, and which constitate the highest majestj of kings, were 
by hiTtt unattainable and never possessed; and thus aie reflected in 
his whole existence the dissimilftr and even ccmtradietorj sentiments 
and principles of those br whom he was edacated. 

It was strongly evinoea and verified as a great truth in Henry lY^ 
ihat according to our disposition and inward being, so is our &te. 
If the former be fixed ana firm, our life as surely takes a fixed direo* 
tion. But Henry's life waa as imequal as his mind: the vaiialionof 
good fortune with misfortune, elevation with abasement, and haiigli* 
tiness with humiliation — such were the transitions of his life, even 
unto the moment of his death. 

Adalbert had transplanted from hia own soul to that of his pupil 
two feelings of the deepest averaon — ^the first was directed against 
all the princes generally, and the second against those of Saxony, 
and especially the ducal house of Billung, and the whole Saxon 
people, with whom he had previously had many disputes relative to 
ids Archlnshopric of Bremen. He therefore impressed upcm the 
mind of the young king, that as the princes, but chiefly those of 
Saxony, were striving for independence, he should reduce them by 
times to obedience and crush them. These principles embittered and 
destroyed the tranquillity of the king's whole life, for although the 
ambitious archbishop, after he had declared the king to be df age at 
Worms in 1065» was, by means of the princes, removea item Henry in 
the following year, his ward never forgot his instructions, and when, 
inl069,Adalb^again visited the court of theyousg monarch, hensed 
all his former influence to strengthen and confirm him in this hatred. 

The Saxons speedily perceived the king*s purpose of wmki^g their 
country immediately dependent on the crown; for he dwelt diiefly 
at Goslar, and conunenced building in the mountains of the Harts 
and in Thuringia a multitude of fortresses, and manned them with 
^mrisons, to enable them to curb the natives more easily. The aamo 
Deano (afterwards Bishop of Osnaburg) who, under Henry IIL^ upon 
the building of Goslar itself bad already forced the Saxona uito semoey 
now superintended these buildings, x he chief of these fortresses was 
thatof HaxtzbuigynearGosIar, Henry's favourite place, butaneye-eoie 
to the Saxons. Murmurs passed around, and the people complained 
that the freedom they enjoyed from their ancestors was about to be 
destroyed. It was also related, that whilst one day surveying the 
country around from a mountain in Saxony, the kmg exclaimed: 
*^ Saxony is indeed a beautiful cotmtry, but those who inhabit it are 
miserable serfs." 

There weretwo other causes which increased thediscootent. Henry, 
as a childy had already been betrothed by his fiuher to Bertha, the 
daughter of the Margrave of Susa, in Italy, and he had afWwaids 
manied her. Now, however, he wished to be divorced from her, and 
as for this purpose he required the assistance of the spiritual pnnces, 
he acaoidingly sought to conciliate before all others the friendship 


ofSiflftiedyArchbisliopofMentz. ButashispassionsalwajiBdroveliim 
blindly on to the object he waa bo anxious to grasp, to likewise tho 
means he now employed to attain it were equally bad. He ooimnanded 
and forced the Thunngians to pay to the archbishop the tithe of their 
goodswhichhehadfonQerlyclaimed,and they had refused. Thushehad 
now naade the Thuringians doubly bis enemies. Meantime, howeTer, 
owing to the opposition shown on the part of the pope, be was not 
diYoroedfix>m tne queen ; and subdued, shortly afterwards^ by her noble 
and dignified conduct, his heart once more turned towaros her, and 
the fiiitnfully contixmed to share with him his good and bad fortune* 
Besides this, Henry treated the Saxon Count, Otho of Nordheim, 
to whom his naotherliad given the Duchy of Bavaria, so badly, tha$ 
ill the nobles, but chiefly those of Saxony, were highly exasperated. 
This Duke Otho was a friend of the Archbishop of Cologne, and 
aiffhtprobably thereby have become obnoxious to the long, or the latter 
peniaps turned the hatred he had imbibed from Adalbert against all 
the nobleSi nacre particularly against Otho, upon whose arm the SaxoxL 
people chiefly depended* And when at this moment an accuser 
appeared, muned Egino (probably employed for that purpose), and 
chained the duke with having tned to persuade him to assassinate 
the king, and Otho refused to do battle with him because he was not 
oftheaamerank, and bore besides a bad character, Henry, by an 
unjttBl sentence, deposed him forthwith from his duchy of Bavaria, 
and destroyed with fire and sword all his hereditary lands in Saxony. 
He ga,ve his duchy of Bavaria (in 1070) to Guelf the Young (IV.) 
the acm of the Itauan Margrave Azzo, and the founder of the junior 
Guelfic house, the elder house having become extinct by the death 
of Duke Guelf of Carinthia in 1055. 

But in Otho of Nordheim he had now aroused for his whole life 
time a most valiant and inveterate enemy. He joined Count Magnus 
of Saxony, son of Duke Ordulf, a noble youth, bold and valiant in 
vnu, and united himself with him ; but pressed by the roydi forces, 
thej were obli^red to jrield themselves botn prisoners to Henry before 
th^ had hanuy prepared themselves for battle. After the lapse of 
& year Henry set Otno at liberty, but he retained Magnus in prison 
in theHartzburg, because he refused at his command to renounce his 
lights to his father's duchy, and although Odio nobly oflered to 
take his friend's place in prison, he refused to listen to him* Thence 
voae the natural conclusion, that it was the king's intention to take 
poeeeKoon of the duchy of Saxony himself, and leave the young prince 
to die in captivity. 

Ihese circumstances were the origin of that deep and violent 
comity between Henry and the Saxons, and which j)repared the 
SKJSt bitter and melancholy reverses for the king, and incited both 
P^es to acts of the most implacable hatred and revenge. 

The Saxons, with Otho of Norheim at their head, concluded with 
each other a close alliance. All the Saxon and Thuringian nobles, 
tenpoial and spiritual^ belonged to it, and among others, Burkhard, 



Bishop of Halberstadty who was a nephew of the Archbishop of Co- 
logne, and had imbib^ from the latter his hatred against the imperial 
misrule and ascendancy. This was still the time when the cleigj them- 
selves went into battle and frequently fought at the head of their war- 
like hosts. 

Quite unexpectedly, and whilst Henry was at Groslar, in the jeu 
1073/a deputation from the Saxons came to him and demand^ of 
him as follows: *' That he should destroy his fortresses in theii 
country; set Magnus, the heir of their Saxon duchy free from his 
imprisonment; not always remain in Saxony; honour the andent 
constitution of the country; and in imperial affidrs not giye ear to 
bad advisers, but take counsel of the states. If he woim perform 
these conditions," they added, ^* no nation in Grermany would be 
foimd more faithfril and devoted to him than that of the Saxons." 
Henry, however^ dismissed the deputation with contempt The 
Saxons accordingly, now brought into speedy effect and immediate 
execution the threatened consequences, and advanced towards Goslai 
with 60,000 men. Henry fled with his treasures to the strong fortress 
of Hartzburg,and as the enemyspeedily followed him, hetook to flight 
and sought refuge amidst great danger in the Hartz mountains. He 
was obbged, for three days, to wander without food or drink, and 
with but few companions, under the guidance of a yager, imagining 
in every whisper of the wind passing along the tops of the Sis, to 
hear the steps of his pursuers. At last he reached Eschw^, on lite 
river Werra. From thence he went to the Rhine, towards Tiibur, 
and sent messengers throughout the whole empire, sunmioning all to 
arms against the oaxons. Jmit the Saxons wisely profited by the inter- 
val, destroyed fortress after fortress, and took possession oi the strong 
castle of Limeburs with its whole garrison ; and which lucky circum- 
stance they tookaovantageof to free their duke, Magnus, for they now 
demanded his freedom of the emperor under the toreat, that, if not 
granted, they would hang up the whole garrison of Lunebur;^ as rob- 
bers. Henry was obliged therefore, however imwillingly , to yield and 

set Magnus at liberty, together with seven^ other nobles and knights. 
The monai^ch's humiliation, however, did not end here, for he was 
now likewise deserted by the princes of Southern Germany, and 
even the Archbishop of Mentz, on whose account he had made so 
many enemies, left him. A circumstance also occurred at this mo- 
ment which formed a parallel case with that of Egino and Otho of 
Nordheim, only that here the king was made out to be the assassin. 
B^ginger, a knight and former favourite of Henry, came now for- 
ward and made public that *' the king had employed him to murder 
the Dukes Rudolphus of Swabia and Berthola of Carinthia." This 
statement might possibly have been a mere manoeuvre of the enemy, in 
order to nrejudice public opinion against Henry, similar to that which 
he had himself previously emploj^ed against Otho of Nordheim. 
But it was equally successful, for it was even proposed to elect a 
new king, and the ungrateful Archbishop Si^Bned convoked the 
princes for that purpose to holda diet at Mentz. 


In this emeigencj, when all his friends had deserted him, the citi- 
zens of Worms Sone remained faithful to the king. They opened their 
gates to him against the will of their archbishop, offered him men 
and arms, and by their generous attachment and fidelity again re- 
stored his despondoit mind, and as &r as their means admitted they 
wholly supported him, no one else attempting to assist him. At this 
penod, certain cities in Grermany already began to have a voice in 
the imperial diets, and they be<^e the chief support of imperial 
authority against the princes; thence we see how much, by industry 
ttd activity, they must have increased since the time of Henry I., 
both in the number and in the wealth of their inhabitants. But 
the faithful people of Worms could not defend him against the 
aitire power of all the accumulated evils which now hung over his 
head. He was obliged, in order not to lose his crown, to make hard 
tons of peace with the Saxons in 1074, and to deliver up to them 
all his fortresses, even his beloved Hartzburg. After contemplating 
U with sorrow and regret for the last time, as, in the midst of the 
wens he rode to Goslar, he once more, and even most earnestly 
entreated them to grant its preservation, but the proud fortress was 
doomed to fall, and in its destruction hatred raged so furioudy , that 
TO embittered populace, without even the knowledge or consent of 
me princes, plundered and burnt both its church and altar, tore open 
"eunperial tombs, and desecrated the remains of Henry's brother 
uu infant son. 

But the Saxons very soon experienced that the most dangerous 
^emy to good fortune is the arrogance of our own heart; and one of 
those angular changes of fortune which distinguished Henry's en- 
tae leicn now suddenly displayed itself He had well learnt by this 
toe, that men must be differently treated to the fashion Adalbert had 
taught him, and that in order to conquer a people, something more 
^Mcessaiy than building isolated fortresses in their country. Ac- 
wrfingly he now began to address the German princes in a very 
oppofflte planner to what he had hitherto done; he sought to gain 
them individuaDy, especially as their assemblies were in general pre- 
jndiaally opposed to him, and for this purpose he employed a differ- 
oit but more suitably-adapted means with each of them separately, 
lo all of them he complained bitterly of the shameM and revolting 
J^stniction of Hartzburg, and as soon as the public voice became more 
^oorable towards him, he issued a general summons against the 
oaxons. This time obedience immediately followed, and a strong 
*^y was speedily collected both of knights and vassals, from afl 
I*rt8 of the kingdom, even from Bohemia and Lorraine, an army 
*ch as had not been seen for a long time, whilst the Saxons 
tho had only hastily assembled a few troops, and by the artifices 
«the king had become disunited among themsdves, were severely 
wen, in 1075, near Hohenburg, not far from Langensalza, on the 
nver Unstrut* Henry pursued the fugitives as far as Magdeburg and 

^betStadt. and desolated their coimtrv with fire anr) sword. Hin 


vengeance was terrific, like all his nngoyemable passions. But in the 
following year, the other princes, who would not suffer the poor people 
to be entirely destroyed, stepped between as mediators. Henry granted 
the Saxons a peace after their nobles had humbly knelt to him before 
all the army ; out instead of effecting a complete reconciliation by a 
full pardon, he, contrary to the promise he gave through his am- 
bassadors, retained many of the Saxon nobles as prisoners, and made 
over their fiefs to his vassals. Hie most dangerous of all their 
princes, however, Otho of Nordheim, he allowed to return to his 
estates, and even appointed him administrator over Saxony. He 
caused all the destroyed fortresses, including Hartzburg, to be rebuilt, 
erected additional ones, and had them gamsoned by his own troops, 
who, as before, oppressed the land by arrogance and extortion; thus 
the seeds of future revolt were again planted in this quarter, whilst 
from an opposite direction an enemy presented himself, far more 
powerful, and who fought against him with very different weapons 
to those of the Saxons. 

Hildebrand (afterwards Gregory VH.) was the son of a c a rpenter 
at Saone, an Italian city. He entered the clerical state, and as he 
possessed extraordinary mental powers he was taken by Pope Leo 
IV., in the reign of Henry III., from the monastery of Cluciiy to 
Borne, and there made sub-deacon of the Roman church, and wier- 
wards chancellor; henceforward he alone directed the government of 
the popes, and became the soul of the pontifical court. His object wss 
to raise the pope above all the princes and kings of the earth, and 
this aim he pursued during his whole life with so much prudence, 
constancy, power, and greatness of mind, that he must be placed 
among tne most extraordinary men in the history of his times. When 
he first appeared great misuses had crept in among the higher and lower 
clergy; the majority purchased their holy offices with gold, whereby 
unworthy men could attain to high and important places. Inuno- 
rality, dissipation, and vices of every kind were not rare among 
them, and as they were the slaves of their own sins, so also by their 
love for temporal possessions they attached themselves to temporal 
princes, who rewarded them with their possessions. Hildebrand 
therefore resolved, inspired as he was for the freedom of the churdi 
and the morality of the clerical order, to lay the axe to the root of 
these evils. 

His first endeavours were very justly directed against the purchade 
of spiritual offices with gold, which was called the crime of simony (in 
reference to the history of Simon the magician, related in the Acts 
of the Apostles, viii., 1 8-24) and was considered a sin against the Holy 
Ghost. It is shown with what moral power and superiority of mind 
he knew how to influence men, in the example of an archbishop of 
France, who was charged with this crime, but had cunninj " 
over the informers by gold. Hildebrand, so sap the orij^ 
ment, sat as representative of the pope in judgment upon the afi&ir. 
The archbishop then stepped boldly into the assembly and said> 


** Where are they who charge me? Let him step forth who will con- 
demn me T' The bribed complainants were silent. Hildebrand ihe& 
tamed himself to him and said: ^' Dost thou beliere that the Holy 
Ghost with Father and Son are one Being?" To which the other 
replied: " I believe it." He now commanded him to repeat: ** Ho- 
nour the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," and whilst the arch- 
bishop was pronoimcing the words, he looked at him with such a 
piercbg, penetrating glance, that the conscience of the convicted 
d^gyman was so sUnck with his guilt, that he was unable to add 
*' The Holy Ghost," although he several times tried it. This was 
considered a divine judgment. The archbishop fell at his judge's 
feet, acknowledged his crime, and confessed himself unworthy to 
hold the priestly office; after which confession he was aiablea to 
repeat those words with a distinct voice. This circumstance worked 
eo powerfully upon the minds of the people, that twenty-seven other 
cksrchmen and several bishops, as yet unaccused, laid down their 
offices, because they had acquired th^n with gold. 

In order, therefore, that the chigy should now be made entirely 
fiee from the temporal power^ it became essential that the head of 
the church should no longer be named by the emperor, but be ap» 
pointed by a free election. This had been differently settled at the 
tune that Henry IH. caused the promise to be made to him, that the 
Bomans should acknowledge no pope without the imperial sanction, 
and under this emperor Hildebrand probably would not have carried 
ioB object But he now took advantage of the moment while the 
&ew emperor was still a child, and succeeded in the year 1059, under 
Pope Nicholas H., in having a law made, that every pope should be 
chosen by the cardinab, but with the clause that the sanction or 
confirauttion of the emperor should be added, as it was only in sub* 
sequent times that endeavours were made even to abolish this decree^ 
snd to put a false construction upon the law of Pope Nicholas. 

When Hildebrand as chancellor had, by this and other regula- 
tions, prepared every thing for his great object, he was himself 
dected pope in the year 1073, and caued himself Gregory VH., in 
order thus to declare the deposition of Gregory VI. by Henry IH. 
M invalid. The Emperor Henry IV., who now ruled the empire 
lumself, sent his faithful adherent, Count Eberhard, to Rome, to de« 
Jnand of the Romans why they had dared without the imperial 
peimission to elect a pope. Gregory, who did not wish at this mo- 
ment to commence the dispute with the emperor, excused himself by 
the plea that the people had forced him to receive the papal dignity, 
but that he had not allowed himself to be ordained before he had 
'^ved the sanction of the emperor and of the German princes. 
With this excuse Henry was contented, and the pope was confirmed. 
Henry thus showed, that in the blindness of his fury against the 
Saxons, he had not at all perceived that all this lime the degradation 
of &U temporal dominion, and the elevation of a spiritual empire, was 
now being gradually prepared in Rome. 


Greffoiy now stepped forth with new and very severe laws against 
mmony, ^d again^ the marriage of priests. He desired, Uke the 
earlier popes and fathers, that the priests of the church should conse- 
crate themselves wholly to the divine service, restrain themselves from 
all sensuality, and not even chain themselves to the love of the earth's 
possessions by the marriage tie. It is true that in Italy, as well as 
in France and Germany, this prohibition found at first great oppo- 
rition among the clergy, for many of them, particularly among the 
lower clergy, were already married, but Grregory^ found m the people 
themselves the support necessary for the execution of his law. The 
populace, excited against the married priests, forced them, partly- 
through the severest misusage, to separate themselves fix>m their 
wives, but it lasted a full century before the celibacy of the clergy 
was fully established. The attainment of this object was of the greatest 
importance to Gregory for the completion of his extensive plans; 
for if the clergy throughout all Ghnstian countries were no longer 
bound by their domestic cares and anxiety for their children, and 
were made independent of the temporal loras, the pope would thereby 
gain so many thousand more ssealous servants, who would listen only 
to his command, and contribute to fix firmly the dominion of the 
church over all temporal power. But in order to possess such ser- 
vants they must be rendered stilljmore independent, and not receive, 
even in any shape, their temporal possessions from the hands of 
princes as a fief; for the same as the lay vassals received a banner as 
a mark of their services, so also the grand ecclesiastical dignitaries 
received from the princes as a similar sign, a ring and a shepherd's 
crook, which thus formed the investiture. Gregory, therefore, pro- 
hibited the clerey from receiving this said symbol of investiture £rom 
the hands of the nobles; and he insisted that for their elevation 
they were to be beholden to the papal chair alone, and only to the 
pope were they to swear the oath of obedience. According to this 
prmdple, the pontiff necessarily became sovereign lord of one-third 
of all the property in the Catholic countries. 

Such then is the commencement of the long and violent dispute of 
investiture, and especially of the contest between the emperor and 
the pope, the state and the church, and which by decrees weakened 
and destroyed both. We have already noticed previousljr that the 
peaceful co-operation of both the papal and imperial dimiity might 
nave formed a soUd basis for the happiness of tne people; but now 
the epoch commenced when both these powers strove singly to rise 
more elevated than the other. For if, on the one hand, the pope 
wished to reign not only in spiritual but also in temporal afiairs over 
all princes and kings, and was anxious to take away as well as to 
provide crowns, so, on the other hand, the emperor would not admit 
m just and reasonable cases the authority of the pope, but insisted 
he could rule with the edge of the sword even over invisible and 
spiritual a&irs and the conscience of man. Thus the two powers 
which in concord together might have made the world happy, de- 


ftroyed each other, and after a contest of a century and a half, and 
a^ unutterable confusion and dissension in Germany and Italji 
the imperial dignity lost its ancient splendour and its intrinsic power, 
whilst the head of the church became externally dependent upon a 
foreign power. In this schism great men stood opposed to each 
other, who might have exercised their energy and powers much more 
beneficially for society; but this very contest necessarily entered into 
the great plan of the lustory of the world, and it prepared those de- 
velopments which otherwise would not have followed. 

Pope Grrc^ory continued to advance still further in his principles. 
Not satisfied with having separated the church with all its endow- 
ments wholly from temporal dominion, he also now solemnly declared 
that em[>erors, kings, and princes, toother with all their power, 
were subject to the pope. These principles are especially caressed 
hi his own letters: "Theworld,"hesaysinoneofthem, **isguidedby 
two lights : by the sun, the larger, and the moon, the lesser light. Thus 
the apostolic power represents the sun, and the royal power the moon; 
for as the latter has its li^ht from the former, so only do emperors, 
Hngs, and princes, receive their authority through the pope, be- 
cause he receives his authority through God. Therefore, the power 
of the Roman chair is greater than the power of the throne, and the 
Ung is accordingly subject to the pope, and bound in obedience to 
him. If the apostles in heaven can bind and loosen, so may they 
^ upon earth give and take, according to merit, empires, kingdoms, 
prinapalities, duchies, and every other kind of possession. And if 
they be appointed as sovereign judges over spiritual, they must like- 
^nse be so, and far more in proportion over temporal afrairs, and if, 
finally, they have the right to command ansels who are most assur- 
^7 placed, above the most powerful monarchs, how much more may * 
they not give judgment over the poor slaves of those angels. B^ 
sides, the pope is the successor ot the apostles, and their represen- 
tative upon tne chair of St. Peter; he is the vicar of Christ, and 
consequently placed over aU." 

These principles Gh^ory resolved to exercise generally, and first of 
all upon the emperor himself, as the head of the kings and princes, in 
order thereby to prove his power before the whole world. At the same 
tune, Henry, livm^ as he did in continual dissension with his sub- 
jects, had less real power than any other king, whilst his name 
l^ing greater, the victory over him must consequently become 
more glorious, and from the passionate character of this prince in 
d his proceedings, the pope soon found it easy to fiimish a pretext. 
C(»Dplaint8 against the emperor came to Rome from every (quarter, 
whilst the Saxons, likewise, bitterly complained because he still kept 
Dttny of their princes prisoners. Gregory accordingly caused it to 
ue Signified to the emperor, '' That at the ensuing &st he must ap- 
P^ before the synod at Rome, to answer for the crimes laid to his 
cnaige; otherwise, it was now made known to him, that he would be 
^wt out from the bosom of the church by the apostolic ban." 


Henry was more indignant tlian terrified at these words, for die 
SnTisible power of the papal ban of excommunication had hitherto 
been little proved. He assembled the German bishops at Worms, 
in the year 1076, and there with equal precipitation and impatience he 
caused to be pronounced at once against the pope the same sentence 
cf deposition with which the latter had threatened him. He then 
wrote him a letter of the following contents: 

•* Henry, king, not by force, but by the sacied ordination of God, 
to Hildebrand — ^not the pope, but the false monk: 

*^ l!liis greeting hast thou merited by the confusion thou hast spread 
tlnou^hout all classesof the church. Thou hast trampled under thy feet 
Ae mmisters of the holy church, as slaves who know not what their 
lord does; and by that desecration hast thou won fiivour from the lips 
of the common herd of people. We have lon^ suffered this because 
W6 were desirous to maintam the honour of tne Roman chair. Bat 
tbou h»9t mistaken our forbearance for fear, and hast become embold- 
ened to raise thyself above the royal power, bestowed upon us by God 
kimself, and threatened to take it from us, as if we had received 
our dominion from thee. Thou hast raised thyself upon the steps 
which are called cunning and deception, and which are accursed. Thoa 
hast gained favour by gold, won power by favour, and by that powa 
tixou hast gained the chair of peace, from whence thou liast banished 
peace itself by arming the inferior against the superior. St. Peter, 
the true pope himself, says: ^Fear God and honour the king!' 
but as thou dost not fear God, thou dost not honour me, his envoy. 
Descend, therefore, thou that liest under a curse of excommunica- 
tion by our and all bishops' judgment, descend ! Quit the apostolic 
seat thou hast usurped I And t&n shall the chair of St. Peter be as- 
cended by one who does not conceal, under the divine word, his arro- 
gance. I, Henry, by God's grace, king, and all our bishops, say to 
thee, * descend, descend ! ' '* 

Upon this the pope held a council also, and not only pronounced 
the sentence of excommunication against Henry, but he deposed 
him in the following words: " In the name of the Almighty God, 
I forbid to King Henry, the son of the Emperor Henry, who, with 
haughtiness unheard of, has arisen against the church, the govern- 
ment of the German and Italian empire, and absolve all Christians 
fiom the oath which they have made or will make to him, and for- 
bid that any one serve him as king. And occupying ^y office, 
holy Peter, I bind him with the bands of a curse, that all nations 
may learn that thou art the rock whereon the Son of Gk)d founded 
his church." 

When, at the Easter festival of the year 1016, Henry received, 
at Utrecht, the news of his excommunication, he immediately 
pronounced, on his part, throufi:h the violent bishop, WilKam of 
Utrecht, an anathema against Gregory; and the bishops of Lom- 
bardy, the enemies of the pope, renewed this anathema in a coon- 


cH assembled at Pavia, tmder thepresideiicj of Wibert, Archlnshop 
of Ravenna. 

The impreasion made bj these miheaad of etesktu Iras varied, ad- 
cordmg to the disposition and feelings of the people. The Saxone 
rqjoioed, for their cause was now the cause of the chuich, and hence- 
forwaTd their usual shout of war was " Holy Peter 1 " whilst, through- 
out the empire generally there was a division of parties; evetywherethe 
cry was, "the pope for ever! "or,** the emperor for ever I" This was, 
indeed, a time of bitter contention, and hatred reigned throughont the 
whole coontiy. Had the king been a good, irreproachable man, po^ 
sessing the greatness of soul which can bind and rule ihe hearts, the 
power of the mere word would not have overcome him, for it was only 
£rom public opinion that this word received its force. But he had 
BOW numerous and bitter enemies, and his arrogance after conquering 
the Saxons had served to increase their number. Besides the Faxons, 
hu conduct had likewise made Rudolphus, Duke of Swabia, ex- 
tremely hostile towards him, whilst the pope's legates exercised all 
their mfluence upon the minds of the people. Thence it happened 
tiuit the majority of (xerman princes assembled together at Tribur, 
<m the Rhine, in order to elect a new emperor. Henry hastened to 
Oppenheim, in the vicinily, and at len^, after msaij entreaticB 
and vows of reform, he obtained from wem an extension of one 
year's delay; and it was decided that, in the meantime, the pope 
should be requested to come to Au^burg, and himself closely inves- 
t^ate the amir; but if Henry, at we end of the Tear, was not freed 
mm excommunication, thdy resolved to proceed immediately to a 
fieah election. 

^ In this desperate state Henry formed quite an unexpected resohi«- 
tion. In the anxiety he experienced lest, in the diet at Augsburg, 
where his enemies constttnted the majority of the members, nothing 
fiiTourable towards him should be determined upcm, he set off him^ 
self, notwithstanding he possessed no means, and was obli^d almost 
to beg for his support (whilst likewise the princes still occupied the passes 
botweai ItalyandGermany), and resolvedto crossthe Alps, accompanied 
only by his consort and one faithful companion. He ipassed through 
Savoy, where he was furnished by his mother-in-law, tne Margravine 
of Stsa, with a few more attend^^ts, and as it was winter, and indeed 
80 Kvere a winter that the Rhine, from Martinmas until the first of 
April, was completely frozen, the journey over the mountains covered 
with snow and ice was, consequently, attended with immeasur- 
able di£Scu}ties and danger, and the empress, wrapped up in an ox- 
hide, was obliged to be £dden down the precipitous paths of Mount 
Cenis by the guides of the country, hired for the purpose. He arrived 
it last m Italy, and his presence, to his astonishment, was hailed 
wiA joy; for the report had already spread *' that the emperor was 
^^ining to humiliate die haughty pope by the power of the sword.** 
h tipper Italy a strong hatred had long been cherished against Gre- 
fffj; the temp<Hiil hods were indignant at his recent regulations, 


and among the clergy there were many whom his laws agunst amony 
and the marriage of prieste had made his enemies. Besides, man; 
Italians, even me Archbishops of Milan and Ravenna, had shared 
in the sentence of axcommmiication. Had Henry, therefore, not 
been too much dejected and disheartened by what he had ezpeii- 
enced in Germany, he might speedily have acquired a numerous train 
of adherents in Italy, to offer opposition to his mighty enemy, but lie 
now had conciliation alone in view; the pope too, was at this moment 
on his journey to Grermany , to meet the diet at Augsburg, and there 
to sit in judgment upon the king. Upon hearing, however, of Henry's 
sudden arrival in Italy, and not Knowing as yet whether he waste ex- 
pect good or bad from him, he deviated from his direct route, and 
proceeded to the strong castle of Ganossa, there to gain an asylum 
with the Countess Matdda, the daughter knd heiress of the rich 
Margrave Boniface, of Tuscany, and who was a zealous friend of the 
papal chair; having even, at this moment, privately made over to it 
all her inheritance. 

Matilda was the most powerful and influential princess in Italy, 
and reigned as queen throughout Tuscany and Lomoardy , whilst she 
was likewise equally distinguished for her mental attainments and 
firmness of spirit, as well as for her piety and virtue. She contested 
with all her power, during a period of thirty years, for the elevaton 
of the pontifical chidr, having embracedthisi^ with all the strength 
of her natural character, ana to which she was still more influenced 
by the new severe regulations adopted by Gregory VH., whidi so 
perfectly agxeed withJher own austere and rigidnnnciples of virtue. 
ohe was married to Gozelo, Duke of Lower Lorrame, but they 
lived separated from each oiher, owing to their opinions being so 
completely different; for whilst in Italy, where she ruled over the 
eoctensive j>osse8sion8 of her father and mother, she herself was bualy 
occupied in the support of Giegoiy, her husband was doing all he 
coula in aid of the emperor. 

Henry now turned himself therefore to tiie Princess Matilda, in 
order to get her to speak to the pope in his favour. The latter, at 
first, would by no means hear of a reconciliation, but referred all to 
ihe decision of the diet; at last, however, upon much entreaty, he 
yielded permission that Henry, in the garb of a penitent, covered 
with a shirt of hair, and with naked feet, might be received in the 
castie. As the emperor advanced within the outer gate it was im- 
mediately closed, so that his escort was obliged to remain outside the 
fortress, and he himself was now alone in the outer court, where, 
in January, 1077, in the midst of a severe and rigorous winter, he 
was obliged to remain three whole days barefooted and shivering 
with the cold. All in the castie were moved. Gregoiy himself 
writes in a letter, '^ That every one present had severely censured him, 
and said tiiat his conduct more resembled tyrannical ferocity than a{>08- 
tolic severity." The Countess Matilda, whalst vainly pleading for him, 
was affected even to burning tears of pity and grief, and Heniy, in his 


distress, at length only prayed that he might at least be allowed to so 
out again. On the fourth of these dreadful days, the pope eyentuauy 
admitted him before him and absolved him m>m excommunication; 
but Heniy was still forced to subscribe to the most severe conditions. 
He was obliged to promise to present himself at the day and place 
the pope should appoint, in oraer to hear whether he might remain 
king or not, and, meanwhile, he was to abstain from all exercise of 
the royal attributes and monarchal power. 

With shame and anger in his heart, Henry now withdrew, and as 
soon as the Italians and his old friends still under excommunication 
peiceived the disposition he now evinced towards the pope, they as- 
aembled around mm, and he remained during the winter in Italy. 

His penetrating eye now perceived, during this his first visit to 
Italy, that the power of the pope was nowhere so weak as just in 
that very country of dissension and venal egotism, and that who- 
erer only understood the art of creating adherents by money, pro- 
niaes, and cunning, would very soon succeed in collecting together 
a considerable party to aid him against the court of Rome. dOxe il- 
hisoiy awe he nad hitherto felt for the papal power now vanished; 
his fonner courage revived, and from this moment he commenced 
with the sword, as well as the pen,a war which he sustained, durinf 
thirty years, with the greatest skill and determination, and in whim 
he Teiy oft^ experienced the most decisive success. 

The German princes, however, were stall his enemies, and avail- 
ing themselves of his absoice, held a diet at Forsheim in March, 
1077, and elected Rudolphus Duke of Swabia as rival emperor. Cter- 
nutny became now again divided by violent dissension; for Henry 
also commanded a strong party, chidJy among the cities and those of 
thedeigy, who were discontented with Grregory's church laws. He 
i^etomed now to Glermany; war commenced, and for three years 
devastated many of the most beautifol countries of Glermany. 
Budolphus was obliged to retire firom Swabia, and marched to 
Saxcmy, the Saxon people and the valiant Otho of Nordheim being 
htt irarm supporters. Henry ffave the duchy of Swabia, together 
with his daughter, Agnes, to me bold and ambitious Count Fre- 
deric of Buren, who now removed his seat firom the village of 
Baren, at the foot of the high Staufen, and fixed it upon the pin- 
nade of that mountain, where he built the Castle Hohenstaufen. 
Iliiis was laid the foundation of the greatness of this house, al- 
^^KMigh, at the same time, it was a cause of enmity between the 
Hohenstaufens and the oiher noble houses in the vicinity, who 
e&vied the good fortune of this new race, and thought they had 
much greater right to the duchy of Swabia. The Hohenstaufens, 
Wever, remained henceforward faithful firiends to the Salic-Im- 
perial house. 

Gregory acted with duplicity in this war between the two empe- 
'on; and it appeared as it he rejoiced in tiie destruction of Grermany, 
>niinthe enervation of the temporal power by its own ^cts^ v>v 


instead of fupportin^; the Saxons aad their long, Rudolphus, with'sll 
ti^ power of his autncmtjr, in order that they might speedily f^ ^ 
yioUiKjj he rfioogmsed neither of the ^nperors, but only coxLtmued to 
promifle them that he would come to Germany and l>e hifliself the 
judge between them. *^ Nothing, howeyer, took place," Bays Biuno, 
the niatorian of this war, '^ except that the pope's legates anived 
and waited on both parties in each camp, primusing at one moioeDt 
to the Saxons, and m the next to Henry, the &.vour of the pope; 
irfiilst at the same time they conveyed away from both armies as 
much gold aa they could obtain — ^according to Roman custcHn.'* 
The Saxons complained severely of this equivocal conduct of the 
pope, and they wrote to him amongst the rest as follows: '^ All oui 
misfortunes would never have arisen, or at least have been but tiivlal, 
if upon having oommenoedyour hud turned neiAer to 
the right nor to the left. Through obedience to our shepherd W8 
are exposed to the rapacity of the wolf, and if we are abandoned 
now by that sh^herdy we shall be more unfortunate and miserable 
than au other people." This bold and reproachful address, however, 
did not please the pope; he returned no replv to it, nor did it 

Sroduce moie detennmadon in his conduct than the subsequent 
esperate battle fought between the two armies at Melrichstadt, in 
Thuringia, in the year 1078 ; and it was only after Rudolphus bad 
gained superior advantage in a second battle near Miihlhausen in 
1080, that he declaied for him^ and even sent him the crown,* at 
the same time again exconmiunioating Henry. Hie latter, on tbs 
other hand, assembled a council at Brixen, again deposed the pope, 
and caused to be elected as pontiff a^insthim the excommunicated 
Archbidiop Wibert of Ravenna, or Clement III. Thus there were 
BOW two emperors and two popes. The victory, however, this time 
incUned on Heniy's side. 

Meantime, in 1080, he suffered a severe loss in a third battle, on 
the Elster, in Saxonv, not far from Gera, through the valour of Otko 
of Nordheim, who there displayed the genius of a truly great leader, 
but, unfortunately, Rudolphus himself was fatally wounded in ths 
battle and died. His right hand was hewn off, and Godfrey, Duke 
of Lower Lorraine, (Godefroy of Bouillon, the conqueror of the 
holy tomb,) as rebated in some records, thrust the spear of the 
imperial banner into his stomach. According to a later account, when 
his hand was shown to him. King Rudolphus is said to have remarked: 
*^ Behold, that is the hand with which I swore fidelity to King 
Henry \" His fall was ocmaidered as a judgment of God, and Henry's 
adherents increased in proportion ; so that he was now enabled to un- 
dertake an expedition into Italy in order to make war upon his mo$t 
violent opponent. He marched, therefore, with his army and 
came before Rome, which he b^eged three times, in three suc- 
cessive years, and reduced Pope Gregory to such extremity that he 

* This crown bore the following inscription: — ** Petra, dedit Fetro, Petnu diadems 


was oUiged to shut himself up in the castle of St. Angelo, where he 
was besieged bjtheRomans themselves; neverthelesB, &egox7's spirit 
vas too great, and his will too inflexible, to humiliate himself, and 
follow the example of Heniy at Canosea. The emperc^ offered him re* 
conciliation if he woiald crown him, but he replied' firmly : '^ He could 
only communicate with him when he had given satisfaction to God 
azKi the church/' Henry was obliged, therefore, with his consort, 
to be crowned by the rival pope, Clement, at Easter, 1084, after which 
He retired from Italy. Pope Gregory, however, was still besieged bj 
theEomanfi, in the castleof St. Angelo, until he was ireedby his mend, 
Sobert Guiacard^ Duke of Normandy, who ruled in Lower Italy^ 
The latter subjected the city to plunder, and then took with him too 
old and obstinate pope (who, even in misfortune, would not renounce 
any of his views and pretensions) to Lower Italy, where he died th^ 
Mowing y^ar at Salerno, His party chose Victor to succeed him; 
but he poflsessed neither the genius nor the force of Gregory, Sot 
eren Gement maintained the position he held, and continued to en* 
joj the chief authority in Rome. 

Favourable and tranquil times now seemed to dawn upon the Em- 
peror Henry. The successor of Kudolphus of Swabia, Herman of 
Luxembourg, whom the princes had elevated to be his second oppoo 
sent, could not maintain nimself against him, and ^ntaneously laid 
down the dignity. A second, Egbert of Thuringia, died by assassi-^ 
nation, and the Saxons, after Otho of Nordheim was dead, and the 
iiiecoDcilable bishop, Burkhard, of Halberstadt^ had been killed by hia 
own people, (after he had tried, for the fourteenth time, to excite them 
to levoit,) wearied with constant war, voluntarily submitted them^ 
eelves to the emperor — now made milder by the many painful triala 
be had undergone. But fate had reserved for him visitations still 
more severe. For he was obliged to behold revolt against him, even 
iutbelast jearsofhis life, his eldest son, Conrad, and after his death 
in 1101, his second son, Henry, was gained over by thej^pal party* 
Both the successors of Gregory, Urban H. and Pascal II., renewed 
tbe papal ban against Henry the father, and his son, now declared 
that he could hold no community with an excommunicated person* 
Nay, even when Henry, confiding in the apparent reconciliation 
with his son, was about to attend the great diet of princes at Mentz, 
the ktter caused him, by cunning and treachery, to be disarmed, 
deprived him of the imperial insignia, by means of the Archbishops 
of Meutz and Cologne, and placed him a prisoner at Ingelheim, 
where he forced him formally to abdicate the throne, 

lleoiy, however, found an opportunity to escape from prison, and, 
foil of grief and trouble, he went to his firiend, Otbert, the Bishop 
of Liege. The latter, and Henry, Duke of liorraine, assembled an 
^7 mr him, and beat back the degenerated son when crossing 
the Meuse in pursuit of his father. But the Emperor died imme- 
<^tely afterwards at Li^ge, oppressed at length by a turbulent and 
vexatious career, in the year 1106. The number of batika he had 


fought dining his life — being no less than sixty-five — sufficiently 
prove its amtated and anxious character. 

The Bishop of Li^ge buried the emperor as beseemed; but to 
such length did hatred go, that his body was a^ain exhumed, con- 
veyed to Spires, and there, for five years, it remamed in a stone cof- 
fin above the earth, in an isolated, unconsecrated chapel, until at last, 
in the year 1111, Pope Pascal absolved him from excommunica- 
tion. He was then interred with greater magnificence than any other 
emperor before him. 

Jji the first years of the reign of Henry V., the ducal race of the 
Billungens, in Saxony, became extinct; and he bestowed the duke- 
dom upon Lothaire, Count of Supplin^enbur?. 

Henry V ., although he had previously revolted against his fitther, 
now acted according to his principles; and indefianceofthep«pal laws, 
he still continued to impart the investiture with ring and stafif^ a right, 
which, as he declared to the pope, his ancestors since Charles the 
Grreat, had legitimately exercised for three centuries, imder sixty* 
three popes; and as earlv as the year 1100, he marched with a large 
army of 30,000 horse-soldiers, besides infantry and servitors, for Italj, 
in order to be crowned with the imperial crown, and in caseof neces- 
fiity, to maintain his rights with the sword. He was a much more dan- 
gerous enemy than his &ther, for, besides his phy deal force, he knew 
likewise how to avail himself of cunning and hypocrisy- Pope Pascal 
n. made a proposition to him, which would have endea the dispute for 
ever couldithave been executed. Hecaused the emperor to be apprised 
that — ''As he founded his claims to the investiture only upon the 
donations which the emperors had presented to the church : the cities, 
duchies, counties, coins, tolls, farms, and castles, he might take 
them all back amn; the church would only retain the presents of 
private individual, and the tithes and sacrifices. For," said he, *' it is 
commanded by the divine law, as well as by the law of the church, 
that the clergy shall not occupy themselves with temporal matters, 
nay, not even appear at court, except for the purpose of saving an 
oppressed person. But among you, however, in Germany, the 
bisnops ana abbots are so mixed up with worldly affidrs, that die 
servants of the altar have become the servants of the court/' 

The pope might have been serious when making this proportion, 
for he was extremely strict in his principles, and mought, perhaps, 
in this manner to remedy the degeneration of the cC^rgy, and to 
bring them back to their original simple condition. But H^ory's 
penetrating mind foresaw well that the clergy themselves, particu- 
larly those who, by their possesions, were raised to the rank of im- 
penal princes, would never consent to make such a restitution; therefore 
ne promised to dispense with the investiture, if the pope would com- 
mand the bishops to give back to him, the emperor, all those posses- 
sions which they had received firom Charlemagne and his succeasors. 
He then advanced to Rome, and the solemn treaty upon this afibir 
was to be ratified between him and the pope in a large assembly of the 


bishope, in the church of St. Peter, and then the coronation of the 
emperor was to be celebrated. But when the above condition be« 
came the subject of discussion, the most animated and violent oppo- 
sition arose between the German and Italian bishops, and a long and 
angry contest ensued. At length one of the German knights pre- 
sent exclaimed: ** Why do you all continue thus wrangling? Let it 
suffice for you to know that our lord, the emperor, is resolved to be 
crowned as formerly were Charlemagne, Louis, and the other em- 
perors r The pope replied once more — " That he could not perform 
the ceremony before Tung Henry had solenmly sworn to discontinue 
the right of investiture." Henry then, by the counsel of his chan- 
cellor, Adalbert, and Burchard, Bishop of Milnster, summoned his 
guards, and caused the pope, as well as the cardinals, to be made pri- 
soners. The Romans, enraged and furious at this violent proceedmg, 
on the following day attacked the Germans, who were encamped 
around the church of St. Peter. The king speedily mounted his 
steed and boldly, but rashly, rushing into me midst of the enemy, 
perced five Romans with his own lance, but was himself wounded 
and thrown £rom his horse. He was rescued by Coimt Otho, of 
Milan, who hastily assisted him to mount his own horse, which he 
O^ve up to the king, but for which service he was cut to pieces by the 
Romans. A murderous combat was continued throughout the whole 
day, until at length towards the evening the emperor cheered on his 
tmops to make a final charge, the result of which was that the Ro- 
mans were completely put to flight, and were driven partly into the 
Tiber, and partly across the bridges back into the city. Tne church 
of St Peter, together with all that portion of the city remained in the 
hands of the Germans, but which the emperor abandoned, together 
with all his prisoners, in order to scour the country around in the most 
dieadful manner. The Romans, now reduced to extreme necessity, 
urgently entreated the pope to conclude a treaty of peace with the 
emperor. He had now oeen a prisoner sixty-one days ; and at length 
jielded to their prayers. He, accordingly, agreed that the emperor 
should retain the investiture with ring and staff, and promised, at the 
seme time, that he would never excommunicate him on account of 
this proceeding. The treaty was signed by fourteen cardinals, and 
in the emperor's name by fourteen princes, and Henry himself was, 
on the 13th of April, 1111, solemnly crowned emperor by Pascal. 

But scarcely were the Germans out of Rome when the whole 
dexgj severely censured the pope, and persuaded him to assemble a 
council and excommunicate the agreement made between the king 
and him, as having been extorted by violence; for, according to the 
promise made by the pope, they durst not pronounce the ban a^inst 
the emperor himself. The dispute thus commenced anew, and con- 
sumed, also, under the following popes, Gelasius H. and Calixtus XL, 
^ years longer. As long as Pascal lived, the emperor was not 
hnnaelf virited with the general excommunication of the church; 
^ the legates and many of the heads of the church excommimicated 




him in their dioceses, and thereby gave occasion to fresh divisions 
and dissensions in Germany; and a great portion of the imperial 
princes accordingly refused obedience to the emperor and his lavs. 
Arbitrary feuds, robbery, devastation, and murder took the upper 
hand. The most faithful allies of the emperor were his relatioDs of 
the race of Hohenstaufen, and he raised their house accordingly stiQ 
higher. When Frederick, the first duke to whom his fiitner had 

flven the duchy of Swabia, died, he transferred it to his eldest son, 
rederick, and, shortly afterwards, he gave the duchy of Franconia 
to his second son, Conrad. 

His own sister Agnes, the widow of Duke Frederick, he married to 
the Margrave, Leopold of Austria, of the house of Babenberg, the 
father of that Leopold who was forwards Duke of Bavaria, and 
who also established on the place where Windobona then stood, the 
foundation of the present aty of Vienna. Thus in the south of 
Germany the emperor gained the superiority, but in the north, on 
the contrary, he could acquire no lasting power. Here the Arch- 
bishop Adalbert of Mentz, who had been elevated by him (and who 
was previously his own chancellor, and had advised him to imprison 
the pope, Pascal, but had now become his uncompromising enemy), 
worked most strenuously against him, and excited one prince aner 
the other to oppose him. Saxony, as in his &ther*s time, became 
now the centre of opposition to him likewise. The emperor ad- 
vanced in the year 1115 with an army into Saxony, but in a batde, 
not far from Eisleben, he was entirely defeated by the Saxon 
princes. An expedition, which he soon afterwards made to Italy, 
gave him for a short time the superiority in Bome, but brought 
upon him in 1118 the general excommumcation of the new pope, 
Grelasius, which his successor Galixtus U. confirmed. The chief 
object of dispute was still the riffht of investiture. Finally, in the 
year 1122, both parties, tired of the long dispute, concluded a solemn 
treaty at the diet of Worms, where both yielded to each other. 
The emperor permitted the fi?ee choice of bishops, and ^ve up the 
investiture witn the ring and staff, as signs of ^iritual juriadictioiiy 
but for which concession, on the other hand, the election was to take 
place in the presence of the king, or of his plenipotentiary, and he 
was to decide in doubtM cases, or in any disagreement of the electors, 
and lastly confer fiefs of temporal possessions with his sceptre. The 
spiritual consecration of this bishop elect was to take place in Ger- 
many after the investiture with the sceptre; but in Italy it was to 
precede it. 

After the records were publicly read, the legate of the pope gave 
the emperor the kiss of peace, and afterwards the communion. Tho 
joy expressed by the peacefiilly-minded members of the assembly 
u^on this reconciliation was great; all separated as the records say, 
with infinite pleasure. 

The emperor reigned but a few years longer — ^in peace, it is tnie^ 
with the church, but not without constant dissensions in the Ger- 
man empire. Ainidst plans for strengthening the imperial power. 


in order to oppose more firmly those disorders, he died saddenly at 
Utrecht in 1125, in the forty-fourth year of his age. He died 
childless, and with him the SaUan house became extinct. Most of 
his hereditary possessions came to his nephews, the Dukes Fre^ 
derick and Cioniad of Hohenstaufen. 

Hemy did not acquire the love of his contemporaries; he was des- 
potic, severe, and often cruel. On the other hand, however, it is not 
to-be denied that he possessed many ^reat qualities: activity, bold- 
ness, perseverance in misfortune, and a noble-minded disposition. 
The maintenance of the imperial dignity against every enemy ap* 
peaied to be with him the chief ol^ect of his life. He was en- 
tombed at Spires in the grave of his ancestors. 

Meantime, whilst the two emperors, Henry IV. and Y., were en- 
caged in such warm and serious disputes with the pope, more than a 
hundred thousand Christians, summoned by the voice of the church, 
and excited by their own immediate enthusiasm, assembled together, 
and abandoned their country in ,order to recover and secure from the 
power of the infidels the tomb of the Saviour in that holy land, 
iriierein his divine footsteps remained imprinted. 

Already, firom the earliest ages, it had been a pious custom to make 
pilgrimageg to the holy land, to pray at its sacred places, and to 
rathe in the waters of the Jordan, wnich had been consecrated by 
the baptism of our Lord. Constantine the Grreat, the first Roman 
emperor who embraced Christianity, as well as his mother, Helena, 
ianied orders for the purification and adornment of these holy places 
in Palestine, and the restoration of the sacred tomb at the foot of 
Mount Golgotha; and they erected over the tomb, at enormous out- 
lay, a lofty dome, supported by beautiful pillars, with an adjoining 
oratory, nchly adomea. Eastward of the sepulchre Constantine buiu 
a lai^er and still more magnificent temple. He celebrated the 
thirtieth anniversary of his reign by the consecration of this temple, 
on which occasion he was himself present; and the pious Helena, 
ahhongh in extreme old age, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land 
It the same time, and built two churches, one at Bethlehem on the 
spot where our Saviour was bom, and the other on the top of the 
Moimt of Olives. 

After this, pilgrimages to the Holy Land became more and more 
&eT«nt; and even inlie seventh century, when the knd was under 
the domimon of the Arabs, the pilgnms were not obstructed or dis- 
toihed in their devotions. For the Arabs rejoiced in the advantage 
they derived from the vimts of so many strangers, and took equal 
cue not to molest either the Patriarch of Jerusalem, or the Christian 
ooQinranity. But when the Turks, a savage and barbarous people, 
Kszed upon the country in the year 1073, complaint after complaint 
Rached Europe <^ the cruel treatment heaped upon the pious pil- 
gnms, and of the shameful profimation committed oy the infidels on 
die conaeciated i^ts. 
la the year 10i94, a hermit, named Peter of Amiens, appeared 



before Pope Urban 11. on his return from a piLgrimage to Palestine, 
with a letter of petition from the Patriarch ot Jerusalem, and ^Te a 
most affecting description of the unheard-of sufferings ezpenenced 
by the Christians resident there, as well as bj the pilgrims who 
repaired thither. The pope praised and encouraged tiis zeal, and 
sent him with letters of recommendation to all the princes in the 
various Christian countries, in order to arouse the minds of the 
people, and to prepare them for a great en>edition. The enthu- 
siastic language of the hermit, togetner with the fire which stiU 
shone from ms deep-sunk eye, and his wasted, meagre form, on 
which was imprinted the sufferings he had endured, made the 
deepest impression, and excited, wherever he went, equal enthusiasm 
among all classes, from the highest to the lowest After this, in the 
year 1095, the pope convoked a great council of the church, at 
Piacenza, in Italy, and another at Clermont, in France, at which 
were present fourteen archbishops, two himdred and twenty-five 
bishops, and four hundred abbots, besides numerous princes, nobles, 
and ^ghts. And when Peter the Hermit and the pope advanced 
before them, and with words of overpowering fire and eneigy ap- 
pealed to and called upon this assembly to come forward in deh- 
verance of the sacred tomb, a thousand voices shouted aloud: '' It 
is the will of God ! It is the will of God !" When the pope and 
the hermit had concluded their eloquent appeal, Ademar, Bishop of 
Puy, was the first to press forwara, and throwing himself at the 
feet of the pontiff, begged from his holiness permission to proceed to 
the holy war. Many of the clergy and laity followed his example, 
and as a sign of their devotion to the pious undertaking, they sewed 
a red cross on their right shoulder. The final day of meeting for 
the great expedition was now fixed to take place on the 15th of 
August, 1096. 

Accordingly, innumerable mtiltitudes assembled, including war- 
riors from Italy, France, Lorraine, Flanders, and particularly from 
Normandy, where the same love for distant and adventurous expe- 
ditions, that had ever distinguished their heroic ancestors, was now 
evinced by the present natives. Not only the knights and nobles, 
but the wnole people were set in motion, for as also in France the 
labouring classes experienced the severest oppression, many of these 
joined the expedition; because, according to the pope's decree, free- 
dom was attained by dedication to the holy cross. Germany, which 
was then at variance with the pope, and agitated by internal dis- 
cord, was least affected by this nrst movement. With the com- 
mencement of the spring, reter the Hermit set out at the head of a 
crowd of people, — ^whose impatience would not allow them to await 
the appointed time — in company with their commander, a knight 
named Walter the Pennyless; but their army was deficient in oraer 
and discipline, and especially in a supply of proper weapons. Before 
it reached Asia, the greater part, on account of the robberies com* 
mitted, were cut offby the Bu^ariians and Hungarians, and ^ose who. 


under the guidance of Peter and Walter, reached and landed on thd 
&8t Turkidi territory, were so badly received and cut up by the 
Turks, that very few escaped; and Peter was forced to return home 
with the remnant in a very melancholy plight. A second and stiU 
rader horde commenced its labours for the cross of Christ, by slaying 
the Jews in the cities on the Rhine; in Mentz alone nine hundrea 
were in this way put to death. In this was evinced the universal 
hatred of the people towards the Jews, who, by their usurious prac- 
tices, and the immense wealth gained thereby, brought down upon 
their heads this Ml measure of vengeance. This party, and several 
odier troops of crusaders, however, only reached Hungary. 

So unpropitious a commencement might easily have crushed all 
inclinations for further attempts, had not these first adventurers, 
in great part, consisted of the lowest class of the people, and had 
not their leaders been deficient in prudence, experience, and noble 
zeal and energy. Accordingly, at the appointed time, in the middle 
of Bommer, a grand army, weU-appointed and disciplined, and burn- 
ing with enthufflastic courage, was assembled, and on the 15th of 
August, 1096, set out for its destination. No kin^ was present as 
leader of the assembled forces; but, among the princes and nobles, 
God&ey, Duke of Lower Lorraine, called, irom his ancestral seat, 
Godefioy of Bouillon, stood proudly forward, coni^icuous in every 
heroic virtue; having often fought in the armies of Henry IV. He 
was appoint^ the leader of a body of 90,000 men, and directed his 
oomse through Hungary and the dominions of the Greek emperor, 
whilst other princes proceeded through Italy to Constantinople. He 
oondacted his army, with the most admirable order, through coun- 
tries where so many of the crusaders had already perished, and 
having joined the otner princes, entered the Turkish territories in 
the spring of 1097. The united forces of the crusaders consisted of 
300,000 men, and with the women, children, and servants, made up 
a body of half a million. Unfortunately, however, they already found 
in the tribe of the Sedjoucidians, who first opposea their progress, 
an enemy equally cunning and active, whilst they met with still 
greater and more serious obstacles, in the deserts where the Turks 
had destroyed every thing which might have procured them some 
Ristenance, and through which they nad to pass from Asia Minor 
to Palestine. Hunger and disease carried off every day numbers 
of men and horses; even the bravest began to waver, and had it 
not been for the active genius and heroic firmness displa^^ed by the 
brave Godfrey, this expedition would perhaps have experienced the 
>une imfortunate result as those that preceded it. 

At length, in May, 1099, the wearied feet of the remaining portion 
(^the army which had escaped so many dangers, trod the cherished 
■oil of that hallowed land, and on the 6th of July, they beheld 
feom the top of a moimtain near Emmaus, the object of their 
*rfent hopes and desires — Jerusalem ! One universal shout of joy 
filled the aiTi vibrating in undying echoes from hill to hill, whilst 


tears of rapture burst from every eye. Their noble leader could 
scarcely prevent them from rushing forwards at once, in their ^d 
enthusiasm, to storm the walls of the holy city. But God&ey soon 
perceived that the conquest of the place was not eas^, and comd not 
be effected in a moment, especially as the garrison was much 
stronger in numbers than the crusaders, of whom out of 300,000, 
only 40,000 men were now left. At length every preparation being 
made, and warlike machines with storming-ladders provided in spite 
of every existing difficulty — for the country around was deficient in 
wood — ^the first general assault was made on the 14th of July; but 
as the besieged defended themselves with the greatest bravery, this 
first attempt failed. On the following day, however, the Chnstians 
renewed the attack, and Godfirey was one of the first that mounted 
the enemy's ramparts. His sword opened a path for the rest; the 
walls were soon gained on all sides, the gates forced open, and the 
whole army rushed into the city. A dre^idful scene of massacre now 
commenced; in their first fury the victors put all to the swoid, and 
but few of the inhabitants escaped. When, nowever, reason at length 
resumed its sway, the warriors, wiping the blood fix>m their swords, 
returned them to their scabbards, and then proceeded bareheaded and 
barefooted, to prostrate themselves before the holy places; and the 
same cit^^ whicn just before had resounded in every part with the 
wild shneks of the slaughtered, was now filled wim prayers and 
hymns to the honour and glory of God. 

The election of a sovereign for the new kingdom of Jerusalem, 
became now an object of consideration, and Gode&oy of Bouillon 
appeared to all as the most worthy to rule; but he refused to 
wear a crown of jewels on the spot where the Saviour of the world 
had bled beneath one of thorns, and would only take the title of 
" Defender of the Holy Sepulchre." As he died, however, in the 
following year, his brother Baldwin assumed at once the title oi 

Of the other crusades, which subsequently took place for the 
maintenance of the Christian dominion in Palestine, and in which 
the German emperors also took part, our history will speak here* 

After the extinction of the Franks, a moment had again arrived 
when the German princes, if they were desirous of becoming inde- 
pendent and sovereign rulers, were not obliged to place a new em- 
peror above themselves; but such a thougnt was foreign to their 
minds, and they preferred paying homage to one, whom they had 
exalted to the highest step of honour, rather than behold Grennany 
divided into numerous petty kingdoms. 

Accordiagly in 1125 the Greiman tribes again encamped on the 
banks of the Khine, in the vicinity of Mentz, and ten princes selected 
firom each of the four principal families, viz: Saxony, Pranconia, Ba<* 
vaiia, and Swabia, assembled in Mentz for the first election. Three 
princes only were proposed: Duke Frederick of Swabia, (the mighty 


and couiageous Hohenstaufen,) Lotbaire of Saxony, and Leopold of 
Austria. The two latter on their knees, and almost in tears, en- 
treated that they might be spared the infliction of such a heavy 
burden, whilst Frederick, in Ids proud mind, ambitiously thought 
that the crown could be destined for none other but himself; and 
such feeling of pretension indeed was too visibly expressed in his coun- 
tenance. Adalbert, the Archbishop of Mentz, however, who was himself 
not well mdined towards the Hohenstaufens, put to all three the ques- 
tion: " Whether each was willing and ready to yield and swear alle- 
giance to him that should be elected ?" The two former immediately 
answered in the a£Srmative; but Frederick hesitated and left the as- 
sembly, under the excuse that he must take council of his friends. 
The princes were all indignant at this conduct, and the archbishop 
persuaded them at length to make choice of Lothaire of Saxony, 
although a^nst his own will. 

But hostilities soon broke out between the two powerful Hohen- 
staufen dukes, Frederick of Swabia and Conrad of Franconia, and 
during nearly the entire reign of the new king, the beautiful lands of 
Swabia, Franconia, and Alsace, were laid waste and destroyed, until 
at last both the dukes found themselves compelled to bow before the 
imperial authority. In this dispute the Emperor Lothaire, in order 
to strengthen his party, had recourse to means which produced agita- 
tion and dissension, and continued to do so for more than a hundred 
Years afterwards. He gave his only daughter Gertrude in marriage to 
Henry the Proud, the powerful Duke of Bavaria, (of the Guelfs,) and 

Sve him, besides Bavaria, the duchy of Saxony likewise. This is the 
St instance of two dukedoms being ffovemed by one person. Nay, 
with the acquiescence of the pope, ana under the condition that after 
Henry's death they were to become the property of the Roman church, 
he even invested him with the valuable hereditary possessions of 
^tilda in Italy, as a fief, so that the duke's authority extended from 
the Elbe to far beyond the Alp, being much more powerful than 
even that of the emperor himself; for besides his patrimonial lands 
in Swabia and Bavaria, he had likewise inherited from his mother 
the moiet]^ of the great ancestral possessions in Saxony, and in addi- 
tion to all this his consort now brought him the entire lands of Sup- 
pGnbuigyNordhelm, and old Brunswick. Thus the foundation for the 
sohseauent jealousy so destructive to Germany and Italy, between the 
Gnelfi and Hohenstaufens — ^the latter (stylea by the Italians Ghibel- 
Eni,) according to their casde, YeibHng on the Rems, being called 
Veiblingers — ^was laid at this period, and the faction-names of 
^ Gudfs and Ghibelins henceforward continued for centuries 
afterwards to resound £rom Mount Etna and Vesuvius to the coasts 
c>f the North and East Sea. Lothaire's reim became so shaken 
«nd troubled, partly b^ the dispute of the Hohenstaufens and partly 
W the Italian campaigns, that but very few, if any of the great 
hopes he had at first excited by his chivalric, wise, and pious cha- 
^8cter, were brought into effect 


Duiing his second and rather successM campaign in Italy, in the 
year 1137, Lothaire was suddenly seized with illness, and died on 
his return, in the village of Breitenwang, between the rivers Inn and 
Lech, in the wildest part of the Tyrolese mountains. His body 
was conveyed to, and mterred in the monastery of Konigslutter, in 
Saxony, founded by himself. 

However much the two princely houses of the Giielfi and 
Ghibelins may, from this time, have continued to attract and com- 
mand attention, there was still a third, which, under this reign, ex- 
cited not less interest. Lothaire had given the Margraviate of if orth- 
Saxony, which then comprised the present Altmark, to Albert the 
Bear, of the house of Anhalt, one of the most distinguished princes 
of his time. He conquered firom the Vandals the middle marches, 
as well as those on the Uker and Prignitz, together with the town 
of Brandenburg; and finally, in order to excite in these countries die 
desired industry, he procured from Flanders a great number of agri- 
cultural labourers. He may likewise be regarded as the founder of 
the Brandenburg territory; and it was also under his rule that, about 
the middle of the twelfth century, the name of Berlin appeared for 
the first time, which place, therefore, dates its origin from the 
same period that Leopold of Austria laid the foundation of Vienna. 



Conrad m., 1138-1152— The Guelftaod Ghibelin»— Wdnsbeig^Tbe Faitfafol 
Wives— Conrad's Crusade — ^Disastrous Results — His Death, 1 152 — ^Frederick L or 
Barbarossa, 1152-1190— EQs noble Chanuster aad distinguished Qualities— £X' 
tends his Dominions — ^The Cities of Lombardjr and Milan— Favia — ^Pope Adiisn 
IV.— The Emperor's Homage— Otho of Wittelsbach— Dispute between the I^ope 
and the Emperor — Milan taken and razed — The Confederation of the Lombai^ 
dian Towns — The Battle of Lignano— Frederick defeated— Pope AleTander and 
Frederick— Venice— Henry the Lion of Brunswick— His Bise and Fall — Beoon- 
dliation and Peace— Lombardj— Frederick's Cruaade and Death in Palestine, 1190. 

The election even this time did not fall upon him who oonaideiecl 
he had the greatest right to the crown, namely, the son-in-law of 
Lothaire, the powerful Henry (the Proud) of Bavaiia and Saxonj, 
although he had possession of the jewds of the crown; for the 
princes, repulsed by his pride, elected on the 22d of February, 
1138, the Hohenstaufen duke, Conrad of Franconia, whom mis* 
fortune had made wise, and to whom his elder brother, Frederick, who 
contested with Lothaire for the crown, willingly gave up now the 
precedence. Henry the Proud would not bend before the new em- 
peror, whereupon he was declared an outlaw, his two duchies taken 
m>m him, and Bavaria given to the margrave, Leopold of Austria, 
the half-brother of the Emperor Conrad by the maternal side, and 


Saxony to Albert the Bear, of Brandenbuig. Hennr died almoet 
inunecuately afterwards, and left a son ten years of a^, wbo be- 
came afterwards so celebrated tinder the title of Henry me Lion, to 
whom Albert, at the desire of the emperor, formally resigned 
the duchy of Saxony, which he had not oeen able to conquer (so 
iiiithful did the Saxons remain attached to the Guelfic house); and 
in return he was allowed to possess his hereditary estates in that 
oQfimtry as a piinoely mar^yiate, independent of the duchy. 

In Bayaria also, Count Guelf, of Altorf, the brother of Heniy the 
Proud, stilL contended against ihe house of Austria, and not unsuc- 
oessiully. But when, in the year 1 140, he yentured to march against 
the emperor, near Weinsberg, he was yanquished in the battle. It 
was in this action that the names ^' GKiel& and Ghibelins" were first 
heard as par^ names, for the battle-ciy of the troops on one side 
was, '' Strike for the Ghiel&," and of those on the other, *' Strike for 
the Ghibelins." Aiter the battle, the long berieged city of Weinsberg 
was obliged to yield. The emperor, irritated at its long resistance, 
liad lesolyed to destroy it with fire and sword. He, howeyer, per- 
mitted the females of the city previously to retire, and to carry with 
them their dearest jewels. And behold,, when the day dawned, and 
the ^tes were opened, the women advanced in long rows, and the 
nuuned bore each upon her back her husband, and the others each 
their dearest relative. This afiecting scene so moved the emperor, 
that he not only spared the men, but also the whole city.* 

The Emperor Conrad was now about to proceed to Italy, to re- 
confirm ana establish there the imperial dignity, when intelligence 
anived in Europe that the xmbeUevers threatened the Holy Land, 
and had already conquered and destroyed the fortified city ot Edessa, 
a frontier fortress ; upon which. Pope Eugene HI. sent letters of exhor- 
tation to aU theEuropean kin^s and princes^ that they might assist the 
Christians in the east; and a piousandzealousman, theholy AbbotBer* 
naidof Clairvaux, inFrance, journeyed throughout Europe, preaching 
GO powerfully , tha t many thousands took the cross. And when he a£ 
diessedLouis Vil. of France, themultitudeof those who took thecrosa 
^ so greaty that St. Bernard (he being afterwards canonised), was 
obHgedtocutuphisownclothes to make crosses of them, and both the 
iongandhisconsortEleauor resolved upontheespedition. StBemard 
now turned his attention to Germany, and tried to stimulate the Em- 
peror Conrad, who long refused, and avoided the abbot, by proceeding 
som Frankfortto Spires, in order that hemight takeintoconsideration 
W muchstill remained to be put in order in his own empire. But 
StBemaidwouldnotquithim; he followed him to Spires, and there it 
WIS that Conrad, in the middle of the abbot's address, suddenly arose, 
and, with tearful eyes, exclaimed, V I acknowledge, holy father, the 
great goodness that God has shown me, and will no longer refuse, but 
ua ready to serve him ; fori feel urged to this expedition by Himself.*' 

* Thif dxcamitanoe is recorded by a contemporary of that period in the chronicle* 


St Bernard iminediatelj decorated him with the crocB, and presented 
him with the holy banner lying upon the altar. Frederick, Conrad's 
nephew, who became afterwaras the first emperor of that name, and 
even the old Duke Guelf , who had become reconciled with the em- 
peror, both took the cross likewise, and a great army was assembled, 
which numbered 70,000 warriors alone. But in all human enterprises, 
a splendid commencement will not always secure a suooessBil issue, 
and so, in this great expedition, nothing but misfortune followed. 
In the year 1147, whilst the army was encamped near Constanti- 
nople, on the banks of a river, in order to refiresh themselves &om the 
fatigues of the march, and to celebrate the festival of the birth of St 
Mary, the waters so swelled in the night by a sudden rain, that the 
whole camp became overflowed, and great numbers of men and hoises 
were drowned. And a^in, when the army was transported across 
the straits to Asia, treacherous guides led it into plaoes which the 
Turks had previously devastated; the provisions they* carried with 
them were soon consumed, and the cities which tne expedition 
passed closed their gates against them. Many then entreated those 
upon the walls for bread, and showed their gold, which the people 
first let down ropes to possess themselves o^ giving in return only 
as much as they pleased, frequently nothing at all, or only a Utile 
meal mixed with lime. Many thousands, consequently, died of 
hunger and disease, and still more were destroyed by the cimeteis 
of the Turkish horsemen, who allowed the Germans no repose, 
either by night or day, never forming for a regular engagement 
with them, which the harassed troops so heartily desired. 'iDius, after 
a thousand dangers, Conrad arrived in the Holy Land with only 
the tenth part of his army. He entered Jerusalem and visited the 
holy spot of the cross, where he paid his worship; but these were 
the whole fruits of this crusade. The siege of Damascus was unsuc- 
cessful, and the French army was equally unfortunate. Conrad re- 
turned after an absence of two years, and died shortly afterwards, 
in the year 1152, at Bamberg. He was a valiant, high-minded, and 
noble-hearted man, and was universally esteemed. He recommended 
as his successor, not his own young son, Frederick, whose age would 
not as yet allow him to rule the nation, but his valiant nephew, 
Frederick Barbarossa, Duke of Swabia, who had made the crusade 
with him, and who was unanimously elected at Frankfort. 

Frederick I. was one of the most powerful of all the Grerman 
emperors; high-minded^ valiant, with a will firm as iron, and of 
a stem, energetic character. His very form di^layed his lofty 
mind. His figure was manly and powerful; his limbs well formed and 
strong, auburn locks covered his high forehead, and beneath them 
sparUed his sharp and piercing eyes. His chin, according to the an- 
aent custom, was covered with his beard, which being of a orisrht yel- 
low, he thence derived his surname of B^barossa. A youthfiil rud- 
diness of complexion andnatural affability gavetohiscountenance that 
cheerftd expression which attracts all hearts ; but his firm, proud step. 


and the whole beaxmg of his presence, displayed the piince bora to 
mle and command. 

Abeady, even as a yonth, he had peiformed deeds which an- 
nounoed the great man; besides which, he belonged to the Ghibe- 
lins on the paternal, and to the 6iiel& on the maternal side. It 
was hoped that he would cause the rivalship of both houses to be 
forgotten; and, indeed, one of his first acts m Germany was in &- 
TOUT of the Guelfic house. For, in the year 1154, he re-granted 
the duchy of BaTaria to Henry the Lion, the son of Henry the 
Pioud, 80 that the duke asain possessed Saxony and Bavaria in con- 
junction, by which means he became the most powerful prince in Ger- 
iDany. The Margrave Henry, called Jasomirgoth, of Austria, who, 
after his brother Leopold's death^ had become Duke of Bavaria, re* 
fiiaed, indeed, to give up the cotrntry; but in 1156, Frederick in- 
duced him to renounce it, and compensated him by ^vin^ him the 
dd Bavarian Margraviate of Austria, and by making it independent 
of Bavaiia, and raising it to a duchy, he presented him with great 
nghts and privil^es. The duchy was to be hereditary, not only 
in the male, but also in the female Une, and the duke was to rank 
with the first imperial nobles.* He was only required to be invested 
in his own land, and to participate in the expeditions against the 
Hnn^iarians, whilst, without his sanction, no foreign laws were avail- 
able in Austria, &c. The reconciliation of the Sast princely houses 
in Gemumy caused universal satisfaction; and Frederick depended 
now more nrmly than ever upon the assistance of the fiiend of his 
youth, Henry the lion, for the execution of his enterprises. In the 
other affiurs of the empire also, the new emperor exerted himself 
with vigour; he destroyed the castles of the freebooter-knights, 
whom he condemned to death; and proved himself to be, by all his 
^ a protector of general order, and of the rights of the German peo- 
ple. A contemporary historian says, therefore, of him : '* It appeared 
^ if he gave to heaven and earth a new and more peaceful fomu" 

Ihe countries bordering upon Germany also presented him with 
in (^portunity to give to the imperial name additional lustre. In 
los fist diet, at Merseburg, in 1152, he decided the dispute of the 
two Danish princes, Sven and Knud, respecting the kingdom of 
I^ennittrL Knud received Zealand; but Sven the crown, which 
ficdetick himself placed upon his head ,and for which the Danish 
Ung swore allegiance to him. This also King Boleslaus, of Poland, 
^as obliged to rraiew, and whom the emperor forced thereto by an 
e&ctive campaign in Sileaa. He gave to Duke Wladislas, of Bo* 
I^emia, on account of his faithfol adherence in this Polish campaign, 
^ tide of king, such titles the emperor alone being able to impart. 
CngGeisa, of Hungary, renewed his allegiance, andiulfilled his duties 
ttwnl in Frederick's second Italian expedition. And finally, in 

*"Be ihaU rank eqiialinth the ancient Archiducibus^'* stands recordedm the on- 
gu itatote. Thence, from this expression, origniated the subsequent title of Axch« 
^keoTAostiia. Thiswas first adopted hjTz^demOcIIL la the yew 1453. 


Biir^imdy, which had become ahnost estranged &om the Gennanic 
empue, Frederick re-established his influence by his own mar- 
riage with B^trice, the heiress of High Burgundy, whereby his 
house acquired, at ihe same time, this portion of the kingdom of 
Burgundy. AH the Burgundian nobles did homage to the em* 
peror, and thus the ancient imperial dignity acquired additionid 
splendour under the powerM monarch who now ruled in Gremumy. 

It was only in Italy, the ancient seat of the dominion of the 
world, that the authonty of the emperor had declined; and Frede- 
rick was not able to restore it entirely, even by the most glo- 
rious battles. The large towns in this country, dnoe the weak 
government of Henry IV., had become overbearing, and submitted 
with great rq>ugnance to the obedience due towards their superioi 
feudal sovereign; above all the rest, the opulent city of Milan, the 
capital of Lombardy , was the most arrogant and independent. Mjlan, 
aince the commencement of the 12th century, had, by the vigour and 
energy of its inhabitants, made such rapid progress, that one might 
almost have believed that ancient Rome had transplanted its spuit 
thither. It subjected, by degrees, several of the neighbouring cities, 
especially Lodi and Como ; and, at the same time, anected to treat &e 
commands of the emperor with such contempt, that an impeiial 
edict which Frederick issued in the year 1 153, had even its seal torn 
off, and was trampled under foot. Upon this, the emperor, in 
1154, crossed the Alps, and, according to the ancient custom of the 
Lonffobardian kings, held his first great diet in the Koncalianplams, 
on the banks of the river Po; and now that complaints firom many 
other places were urged against the oppression of this proud city, 
which even refused to meet or reply to them, his anger became ex- 
cited, and ho resolved to punish it severely. He did not venture 
this time, to besiege it, as he was not prepared for such an important 
undertaking; but he destroyed several of its adjacent castles and 
forts, and conquered its allied cities, Asli and Tortona. 

At Pavia he caused himself to be crowned King of Lombardy^ 
and then rapidly advanced towards Rome. Here dissension existed 
between the pope and the people, who, in a revolutionaiy tumult, 
and under the guidance of a bold monk, Arnold of Brescia, wished 
to restore the ancient Roman republic. Neither of the parties knew 
in whose favour the emperor advanced. Pope Adrian IV. fled to 
a well-fortified castle called Castellana, but soon returned to the 
German camp, the emperor having promised him safety. Upon his 
arrival, Adrian (who had originally wandered from England, his 
native country, as a beggar boy, and had eventually raised him- 
self to the papacy), expected that Frederick would hold his stir- 
rup, as his predecessors had always done; as, however, he did 
not do it, tne cardinals accompanying the pope fled hastily back 
to Castellana, for they regarded this omission as a bad omen of the 
imperial sentiments. Adrian, however, descended from his mvle, 
and placed himself upon the seat prepared for him ; and now Frede- 


rick cast himself before him, and Idssed his feet. The pope now 
acquired fiesh coinage, and charged the emperor with the omission 
of the accustomed mark of deference; and the latter, who sought his 
gloiy in greater things, willing yielded in thk 
princes assuring him that the Emperor Lothaire had shown a similar 
sign of lespect to Pope Innocent II. The ceremony of dismounting 
was consequently repeated on the following day, when the emperor met 
the pope and held his stirrup— thus it is related by the records of 
Rome. German writers, on the contrary— namely, Otho of Freis- 
sbgen, and Helmold, inform us that the emperor, upon the first 
descending of the pope, had held the stirrup, but, from oversight, had 
seized the left insteetd of the right, and that the pope, in consequence, 
had reiiised him the kiss of peace. Upon the excuse of the emperor, 
that he had erred through ignorance, as he had not applied much 
attention to stirrup-holding, the pope replied: ''If the emperor 
n^llects trifles from ignorance, how will ne show attention in im- 
portant affiuTB ?" The emperor, however, at the entreaty of the 
princes, yielded, and they both embraced each other as friends. 

After this, Frederick went to Rome, and was crowned emperor 
in St. Peter*8 church, on the 18th of June, 1155. Meantime, a 
4%ute ensued with the Romans, who would yield neither to the 
pope or the emperor; the force of arms, however, soon reduced 
them to tranquillity. 

In spite of these continual contests, however, with the perfidious 
and treacherous Italians, Frederick returned at length to Germany. 
But disputes speedily arose between him and the pope himself, who, 
confidii^ in the assistance of the Norman king, William of Naples and 
Sicily, wrote to the emperor a letter full of reproaches, and his 
If^te, Cardinal Roland (afterwards Pope Alexander III.), uttered 
even in the assembly of the German princes, the arrogant words: 
'* From whom, then, has the emperor the empire, if not firom the 
pope?' The irritated Count Palatine, Otho of Wittelsbach, whose 
omoe it was to bear the naked sword before the emperor, upon hear- 
ing this raised the weapon, and was about to sunder the legate's head, 
for he considered the honour of the (jerman princes deeply wounded 
by this language. Frederick, however, withheld him firom this des- 
perate act of indignation ; but he commanded the ambassador to return 
e&iiy on the following morning to Rome. The German bishops, in 
^ly to the reproaches of the pope, stated, that they had given them- 
seires eveiy possible trouble to mediate, but that the emperor had re* 
pBedto them, firmly and gravely, thus: << There are two remilations, 
acooiding to which our empire must be ruled — ^the laws of the em- 
perors, and the good customs of our forefathers; these limits we will 
oot, nor can we transgress. To our father, the pope, we will wil- 
^ly pay all the homage we owe him; but our imperial crown 
H ^dependent, and we ascribe its possession to divme goodness 
^'dy." They tfien earnestly entreated the holy father no longer to 
<^te the anger of their lord the emperor. 


The dispute between the emperor and the pope, after a short 
zeoonciliation, was, nevertheless, resumed, and lasted until the death 
of Adrian, in 1159. Thenceforward, affairs became still more en- 
tangled, for the imperial party chose Victor III., and the oppoate 
party Alexander III., the same who, as cardinal legate, had uttered 
such bold words in the imperial assembly. Each pope excommuni- 
cated the other, and sought to strengthen each otner's party by all 
possible means. 

The Emperor Frederick, as early as the year 1158, had already 
prepared another more powerfiil eiq^edition against Ital^; the Mi- 
lanese having in the preceding year, reduced to ashes the aty of Lodi, 
which had yielded allegiance to the emperor. All the princes of Ger- 
many, as well as the kmg of Hungary and the newly-elected Song of 
Bohemia,performedfeu£Ll service; by wUch means such an army was 
coUected ^no emj^r had previoiy ^into Italy: .conais4 of 
100,000 m&ntry and 15,000 cavalry. They broke up their camp, near 
Augsburg at Whitsuntide, and crossed the Alps. iUmost all the cities 
of Northern Italy were humbled at the view of such a powerful {(oo^ 
and allied themselveswith the emperor; but the rebelliouscity of IdClan 
was declared outlawed, and, after a short siege, was obliged to sub- 
mit to the irritated ruler. The Milanese appeared now before him, 
in humble suppUcation, fonning a nrocession unusual to the Germans. 
First came both ecclesiastics and laymen barefooted, and dressed in 
tattered garments, the former holding up crosses in the air; then fol- 
lowed the consuls and patricians with swords hanging firom their necks, 
and therestwithcordsroundtheirthroats; andthushumbly they fell at 
the feet of the emperor. As he theiefore only demred their submission, 
he pardoned them, saying: '^ You must now acknowledge that it is 
easier to conquer by obedience than with arms." Upon which, be 
caused them to swear allegiance, and to promise that tney would not 
interrupt the freedom of the smaller cities ; and taking with him three 
hundred hostages, he placed the imperial eagle upon the spire of the 

But their humility was only feigned, and the effect of neoessitj; 
lasting only so long as the power of the emperor terrified them. 
Eor when, according to the imperial prerogative, he wished, in the 
following year, to appoint the civil ftmctionaries, tlie citizens attacked 
Baynald, his chancellor, the count palatine, Otho, and the other 
ambassadors, with so much ftiry that they could scarcely save their 
lives. Upon being summoned, and an explanation demanded, they 
pleaded nothing but empty excuses; and at the second and third 
summons they Gud not appear atall. Uponwhich the emperor renewed 
the imperial edict of outlawry against Milan, and vowed, in his 
wrath, never to replace the crown upon his head imtil he had de- 
stroyed the arrogant city. 

The war recommenced with all the bitter exasperation of that pe- 
riod. The Milanese sought even their salvation — such at least was 
the universal charge — ^in the assassination of the powerful emperor 


who thus menaced them. It ib quite certain that a man of gigantic 
strength suddenly attacked the emperor whilst performing his morning 
devotions in a beautiful and solitary spot upon the Ada, and strove 
to throw him into the river. In the struggle both fell to the earth, 
and, upon the call of the emperor, his attendants rushed forward, 
and the assassin was himself cast into the stream. Shortly after this 
an old mis-shapen, squinting man glided into the camp witn poisoned 
wares, the veiy touch of which was said to be mortal. The emperor 
hems fortunately already warned, caused him to be seized and exe- 
cuted. His aimy, meanwhile, had become much strengthened, and 
^th it he first besieged, in 1160, the city of Cremona, which was 
in alliance with Milan, and had obstinately refiised submission ; the 
inhabitants defended themselves for seven months with unexampled 
obstinacyi when they were at length obliged to yield. The city was 
razed to the ground, and the inhabitants were obliged to wander to 
other places. 

It was only af);er a three years' sie^e, and after much blood had 
been spit on both sides, that Frederick overcame the strong city 
of Milan. His patience was exhausted; the pardon he had once 
granted having only made the rash citizens more arrogant, he re- 
solved therefore, by a severe punishment, to destroy their spirit of 
reaistanoe. During three days, the 1st, 3d, and 6th of March, 
the consuls and chief men of Hie city, in increasing numbers, ad- 
vanced to the imperial camp before LK>di, and on the third day, the 
whole people with them; they divided themselves into a hundred 
sections, and repeated thrice before that city, which had been so 
despised and ill-treated by them, the whole spectacle of their humili- 
ation; ynth crosses, swords, and ropes hanging about the neck, and 
barefooted. More than a hundred banners of the city were, uj>on the 
thiid day, laid dovm before the imperial throne, and lastly, their chief 
banner, the Cabogiuh,* was diavm forward. Its lofty frame or 
tree, witliits iron leaves, was bowed down before the emperor as a sign 
of the deepest humiliation ; the princes and bishops^ seated near him, 
sprang up, in dread of being killed by the weighty mass, but Frederick 
lemamed unmoved and tore the fringe of the banner dovm. The whole 
of the people then cast themselves to the ground, with loud wailings, 
and implored mercy. The consuls and grandees of the city, and even 
the nobles of the emperor's suite, all supplicated his pardon for the 
capital, but IJie emperor remained inexorable, and desired his chan- 
cellor, Raynald, to read the law, whereby the citjr surrendered itself 
atdisaedon. He then said: ''According to that law you have all me- 
rited death, but I will grant you your lives. As regards the &te of the 
city itself, I will so order it, thatmftiture you ahaU be prevented firom 

* Upon a car ttrengthened with iron, a massiTe iron tree with iron leaTes was 
ftied; a IttgecfOMadmed the top of the tree, in fiKmt of whidiWM represented 
Mr Ambfottna, MUan's tatebuy saint. The ooloar of the car was red, and the 
<>l^ osen winch drew it, were also coTered with red draperjr. Before it was 
<inwn away, hi^ mass was celebrated on the car; the wliole being an unitatioa of 
tfae atk of the ISMlites. 


conmuttmgdmikr crimes therein/' Upon whicli lie retired to Pavk, 
to decide upon the fate of Milan in a large assembly of German and 
Italian bishopSi lords, and deputies from the various other cities. 
. The sentence was, '' that Milan should be levelled with the ground, 
and the inhabitants remove, within eight days, to four of their vil- 
lages, two miles from each other, where they should live under &e 
surv^ance of the imperial functionaries." The city of Milan in its 
prosperity and arrogance, had so deeply injured many other citi»: 
Closmo,Lodi, Cremona, Pavia,Verrelh, rfovarra, andomers, that they 
all begged, as an especial £Eivour, that they might themselves pirn 
down the walls of the proud capital; so that, by the impulse of their 
hatred and revenge, they accomplished within six days what hired 
workmen would scarcelv have executed in so many months: for, al- 
though the houses and churches were not pulled down, as later exagge- 
latedrecords report, yet, the powerful walls and forts of the city were 
destroyed, the ditches filled up, and this once wealthy and splendid 
city, after the expulsion of the moaning inhabitants, became one dread- 
ful scene of waste and desolation* The emperor then^ at asplendid ban- 
quet at Pavia, in the Easter festival, replaced his crown upon his head. 

But Frederick was doomed to show to the world, by his example, 
that a chani^e of fortune must ever produce its influence upon the 
most powertul monarchs, and that no force can check it but wisdom 
and moderation. The punishment of the city of Milan had been 
too severe, and if this may even be excused perhaps by the rude- 
ness and strong passions of that period, still Frederick erred in not 
having treated tnat and the other cities of the north of Italy with 
mildness, and according to the laws of justice. 

His deputies severely oppressed the country, and although, per- 
haps, without his concurrence, yet he did not sufficiently attend to 
the complaints which were made to him. At the same time he con- 
tinued the contest with the still-increasing party of Pope Alexander, 
and acted wron^ in not taking advantage of the death of his own 
Pope, Victor III., to reconcile himself with the former, instead of con- 
firming the election of another rival pope, Pascal HI. Frederick did 
not consider that his opponents, by their united inspiration, the one 
for civil freedom and the other for their church-party, derived uncon- 

Sierable power. The cities of Lombardy allied themselves still more 
osely together, and even those which had previously been the enemies 
of the Milanese became disinclined towards the emperor; for, now that 
their former oppressors were cast to the ground, they compassionated 
them. But the most dangerous enemy of the emperor was the bold and 
sagacious Pope Alexander, who had succeeded, after a two years* exile 
in France, to gain over the Romans to his side ; and had now returned 
to his metropolis. Conseouently, Frederick, after he had collected a 
new army, and had settled the most urgent affidrs in Northern Italy, 

• During this deyastation of Wlan, many relics were removed from the deserted 
chmrches. Among the rest, the Archbishop Bajnald conveyed the bones of the thiee 
kings with great solemnity across the Alps to the dty of Cologne, and the King of 
Bohemia canied with him the candlesticlDi of the temple of JeraMUem. 


marched, in 1 167, to Rome. The Romans were speedily beaten out 
ol the field, and the city itself besieged. It was especially around 
the choiches that the severest conflict took place, for they were de- 
fended like fortresses; and it was in the heat of combat that the 
Germans, having cast torches into the church of St. Mary, situated 
close to St. Peter's, the flames readied the latter edifice, which, in 
the general conflision, was taken possession of by the Swabian duke, 
Fiederick. Pope Alexander, seemg that the Romans commenced 
murmuring at his obstinacy, fled secretly from the city, in the dress 
of a pil^m. He was seen on the third day near a fountain, not far 
from Circello, whence he escaped to Benevento. 

Frederick, however, together with his consort, was crowned by 
his pope, Pascal, on the mrst of August, 1167, in the metropolitan 
chorcn of Christendom. But, immediately afterwards, an epidemic 
disease broke out among the Germans, of so terrific a nature that a 
great portion of the army and a multitude of the nobles and chief men 
were carried off*. It was on a Wednesday, in August, that it first ap- 
peared; the heat had long been excessive and overpowering; on the 
morning of that day the sun was bright, after which rain suddenly fell, 
and a glowing heat succeeded; whence the vapour raised caused the 
sickness. Men died so suddenly, that often those who were perfectly 
well in the morning fell dead on the same day while walking in the 
street, and many, whilst even burying the dead, fell suddenly with 
them into the grave. The Archbishop Rajmald, of Cologne, the 
emperor's able chancellor, four bishops, and eight dukes, and 
among these the emperor's cousin, Frederick of Rothenberg, and 
Guelf; the younger; besides many thousands of noble counts and 
kids who were numbered amon^ tne dead. The people everywhere 
excLumed, ^^ that this was a judgment of God for burning St. 
Peters Church ! " The emperor was obliged to retire to Pavia, and, 
in the following spring, he was forced, ^th only a few companions, 
to leave Italy uke a fugitive, secretly and disguised. 

The cities, however, now raised their heads. They had already, in 
that very year, 1 167, and almost imder the very eyes of the emperor, 
whilst he lay before Rome, concluded a formal alliance with each 
other; they even ventured to re-conduct the Milanese back to their 
ancient city. The ditches, walls, and towers were speedily restored, 
and every one laboured to re-construct his habitation. For the 
capital haid been so large and strong that, in its destruction, per- 
sons of the walls, most of the houses, and almost all the churches 
W remained standing. Thus, as Athens once, after its destruc- 
tion by the Persians, so, also, Milan now raised itself by the aid of 
^ other cities, more extensive and powerful than bemre. After 
this was done, the Lombard confederation built a new city, as an im- 
pregnable fortress against the emperor, in a beautiful and fertile spot 
founded by three rivers and deep marshes, and called it, in 
^^^fiance of the emperor, and in honour of their pope, Alexandria. 
Ia the space of a year this city became inhabited, and garrisoned by 



15,000 warriors. The most powerful cities partidpated in the Lom- 
bard confederation: Venice, Milan, Verona, Vicen2a, Padua, Fe^ 
raia, Brescia, Cremona, Placenza, Parma, Modena, Bologna, &c. 

Frederick, meanwhile, was not inactive in Gennony; he remained 
there stationary, nearly seven years; established more firmly the im- 
perial dignity with aU the stren^tli of his hi^h mind; regulated and ad- 
justed internal disturbances, and , in particular, the great dispute in die 
north of Glermany between Heniy the Lion and his adveisaries—upon 
which subject we shall enlarge as we proceed — and at the same time 
au^ented the power of his house by various just and legitimate acqui- 
sitions for his five sons, still veiy young. Heniy, the eldest, although 
only 15 years of age, was elected King of the Romans; Fiedeiick 
received the duchy of Swabia and the lands of Guelf, the elder, ivko 
had bequeathed them, afi«r the death of his only son, to the em- 

gsror, an example followed by many other counts and nobles in 
wabia. Conrad, the third son, inherited the lands of the Duke of 
Rothenberg, who died childless. To the fourth son, Otho, Frede- 
rick gave the vice-regency of Burgundy and Aries ; and to the young- 
est, Phillip, who stifi lay in the cradle, he presented several confis- 
cated crown possesions and clerical foods. Hius the race of the 
Hohenstaufens stood firmly rooted like a vigorous and richly-branched 
tree of majestic oak. 

But now Frederick again directed his attention to that stall revoln- 
lionary country, Italy. The German princes were now, it is true, 
less easily induced to proceed to that intractable unhealthy dim&te, 
but, by his persuasive eloquence and unwearied activity, he at length 
succeeded in a^n collecting an army, and appeared, in the autunm 
of 1174, for ttie fifth time, in that land. He besieged the new 
city of Alexandria, which had been built and fordfiea in order to 
check his course; and he was forced to remain seven months before 
it, during which his army sufiered greatly in the winter (torn ack- 
ness and fiitigue, in their camp, pitched upon mar^y ground. 
Meanwhile the Lombard cities had collected an army to relieve the 
besieged, and which advanced at Easter, in 1175, fully prq>ared and 
equipped. The emperor resolved upon making a last attack against 
the place, and caused it to be stormea on the Thursday before Easter. 
The Germans, by means of a subterraneous passage, succeeded in 
advancing into the very heart of the city, as far as the middle of the 
market place. Nevertheless the valiant garrison did not lose coura^ 
and, to their great good fortune, this subterraneous passage fell in. 
Those of their enemy, who had thus entered the city, were over- 
powered, and the rest who were storming from without were beaten 
back. The emperor was therefore obliged to raise the siege, and to 
seek so hastily a different position, that he was forced to set fire to 
his own encampment. 

It was then agreed, tliat a meeting of the belligerent parties 
^ould take place at Pavia, in order to conclude a treaty. The cardi- 
nal of Ostia^ who appeared in the name of the pope, would not 


greet the emperor on accoimt of the excommtuiication, but lie eirinoed 
to kim Iiis r^ret, wliilst he expressed his admiration of Frederick's 
great qualities. Both sides were, however, but little inclined to 
yield in any portion of their demands. What tended much to increase 
the courage of the Lombards was, that precisely at this moment, 
Hemj the Lion refused the emperor that assistance, upon whidb. 
f ledmck had so much relied. The treaties were, consequently, 
hoken off, and the Lombards, taking advantage of this favourable 
moment, advanced, under the protection of the grand and sacred 
bomker of St. Ambrose, against ihe emperor, and fought the deci- 
sive battle of Lignano, on the 29th of May, 1176. Their force was 
fiff superior in numbos, and occupied a favourable posilion; whilst 
on one side they were flanked by a ditch which made all flight im- 
poGBible. When they saw that the emperor had accepted their chal- 
ten^ and now advanced against them, they immediately formed 
their line of battle. The Carocium of ihe Jmlanese, was placed in 
dieir centze, surrounded by 300 youths who had sworn to defend it 
in life unto death, besides a body of 900 picked cavalry, styled the 
phalanx of death, who had, singly and coUectiTely, likewise taken the 
oath of imdation. The battle commenced, and one of the Lombard 
wingflbeginning yery soon to waver, the order of the Milanese ranks 
becnae oonfiisea. The emperor pressed directly upon the centre, to 
gain the Carocium, and, as now its band of defenders likewise fal- 
tered, the courage of the Germans increased, and at length they con- 
quered the sacred banner, and tore down all its decorations, fiut at 
this moment the death-squadron recovered themselves, and again re- 
turned to the charge. Mortally wounded, the emperor's standard- 
bearer now sank at his ride, and the imperial banner with him; but 
the brave Frederick, equipped in his splendid suit of armour, still 
fought on at the head of his warriors, suddenly, however, he was 
seen to fall from his charger, and vanish &om the view of the army. 
Tenor and confurion now seized upon |I1, and Frederick's troops suf- 
fened an entire overthrow; he himself escaped with a few faithful 
fiiends in the wild tumult, and under the protection of the night. 
Almost all the dtizens of Como, his allies, embittered by hatred and 
revenue against the Milanese on account of their ancient wars, fell 
a ncnfioe and were lefl dead upon the field. For two whole days 
the emperor was mourned as slain, and even his consort put on a 
vidow^ robes; when, to the unescpected joy of all, he again ap- 
peared in Psvia. 

After this the Emperor wished and proposed a peace; when the 
Pope, Alexander, said in reply: ^ That nothing was more desirable 
to him than to obtain peace £rom the greatest hero of Christendom; 
he oitreated only, that the Lombards might participate in it, and 
he himself would proceed to that country." The two great opponents 
had now learnt mutually to esteem each other, and Frederick: having 
expressed a wish for an interview with the pope, the latter proceeded at 
oace to Venice. Hisjoumey thither resembled a tziumphal procession^ 



for lie was treated as the saviour of liberty, and as the &ther of tlus 
Italian free-states. Frederick also came there in July, 1177, and, 
according to an ancient historian: ^' It pleased God so to guide his 
heart that he suddenly subjected the lion-like pride of his mind, and 
he became mild and gentle as a lamb, so that ne cast himself at the 
feet of the pope, who awaited him at the entrance of the ckurclL 
of St. Mark, and kissed them ; and the pope, with tears, raised liim 
from the ground, and gave him the kiss of peace, at which the 
Germans exclaimed: *Lord God we praise thee!' The empeiot 
then took the pope by the hand and lea him into the church, wheie 
he bestowed upon mm his benediction. On the following daj, 
however, at the express desire of the emperor, the pope celeoiated 
high mass, and Frederick, after he had himself, like an inferior of 
the church, humbly cleared the way for the pope through the crowd, 
took his place amidst the train of the German archbishops and 
bishops, and devoutly assisted in the holy ceremony." 

Thus, in those days, did mild, religious feeUngs moderate the 
severe and stem disposition of the emperor, without at all affecting 
the majesty of his presence, for his numility was voluntary, and 
thence acquired for him general esteem; whilst at the same time lus 
conduct was sincere, and consequently his reconciliation with the 
pope was complete and lasting. But with the Lombards, as all the 
articles of the treaty could not be immediately settled, a truce of six 
years was concluded. All rights and customs were to be investi- 
gated; the demands of both sides equally weighed; and the relations 
of the Italian cities with the emperor and empire arranged afresh: all 
whiQh demanded time. 

In 1178 the emperor proceeded to Aries, where he was crowned king 
of Burgundy, and thence returned to Germany, where another import- 
ant affiiir awaited his presence. Whilst on the one hand the house of 
Hohenstaufen possessed at this period, in the person of its emperor, a 
powerful and high-minded chief, the house oi Giielf enjoyed, on the 
other, an equal aavantagein Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Sax- 
ony. For, whilst Frederick, in the south, conducted his great wars 
against the Italian cities, Henry increased his power in the north by a 
successful war against the Vandals. Henry resembled the friend of his 
youth, Frederick, in valour, firmness, and chivalric sentiments. His 
outward appearance was also distinguished, and his powerful figure^ 
strengthened by every corporeal exercise, displayed tne bold courage 
of his mind, let, whilst Frederick, in his hair and complexion, bore 
the true impress of genuine German origin, Henry, on his part, 
presented in his whole appearance the evidence of his connexion 
with the southern race of the Guelfs; his complexion being darker, 
his hair and beard black, and his eyes the same colour. His name 
soon became terrible in the northern districts. He conquered a great 
portion of Holstein and Mecklenburg, as far as Pomerania, and 
populated the country, as Albert the jBear had done previously in 
the marches, with peasants from Brabant, Flanders, and Germany. 


He founded bishoprics and schools ; distributed throughout these coun- 
tries criniinal courts and judges; transformed forests and marshes into 
fruitiul fields; and, whilst he increased his own power, he became the 
promoter cf civilization in the north of Germany. Lubeck, founded in 
1140, and made theseeof a bishop, soonderelopeditself andflourished 
nobly; and Hamburg, previously destroyed by the Vandals, was again 
restored.^ Thus his extensive possessions extended from the shores of 
the Baltic and the North Sea, as far as the Danube in the southern 
mountains, and were more considerable than the absolute dominions of 
theemperor; whilst, finally, he founded, in 1157, Munich, in Bavaria. 
The object of Henry was to unite his two duchies under one entire 
poKtical government, and thus to restrict throughout his territories 
as much as possible, the rights of the nobles, botn temporal and spi- 
lituaL At the same time, in so doing he laid himseu open to tne 
reproach of injustice; as, for instance, in the case of Count Adol- 
phus III., of Holstein. This nobleman had laboured greatly to ad- 
vance the prosperity of his country, and having, amongst the rest, 
established some valuable salt works at Oldesloe, Henry now de- 
stroyed them by causing fresh water from neighbouring springs to 
flow into them, because nis own salt works at Liineburg were, as he 
thought, injured by the existence of those of Count Adolphus. 

The jealousy of the neighbouring German princes having now 
hecome excitea against him, he, as a warning to uiem, caused a large 
fioD, cast in bronze, to be placed before his castle in Brunswick. 
They imderstood what by this sign he meant to indicate, but although 
they trembled individuaUy, they nevertheless tried once more to put 
a stop to his rapid progress by a great alliance, in which were in- 
clude : the Archbishops of Cologne, Bremen, and Magdeburg; the 
Bishops of Hildesheim, and Lubeck, the Landgrave of Thuringia, 
and the Margrave of Brandenburg, with several counts and knights. 
But Henry, sudden as the royal animal whose title he had chosen, 
broke loose, le-conquered Bremen, devastated Thuringia and the 
^bishopric of Magdeburg with fire and sword, drove away Con- 
i^t bishop of Lubeck, and thus overcame and crushed his enemies 
<^pletely. Such was the state of afi&irs in Germany when the 
Emperor Frederick returned from Italy, in 1 168 ; his presence, how- 
ler, restored tranquillity once more, and both parties were obliged 
to SQirender to each other their conquests. 

^e noble Guelf, to whom repose was hateful, made now, in 1 172, 
a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but, upon his return, disputes were 
^^siewed, and he this time drew upon himself, in the person of the 
^peror, a far more powerful opponent. The latter, who had been 
^eito his constant friend, and, in a series of years, had shown him 
nothing but kindness, considered he might with justice calculate 
^^pedaUy upon him when, after raising the siege of Alexandria, in the 
.^ear 1175, he collected all his forces together, in order to come to a 
^eoflTe and final engagement with the Lombards. But it was just 
^ tbat critical moment that Henry, to whom these distant expedi- 


tions were liighly objectionable, and who preferred remaizdng at home 
with his army, for the porpoee of increasing his own power, refused his 
assistance. He pleaded his age, although ne was only forty-six yeais 
old, 'and thus younger than me emperor himself; pretending that too 
many necessary affairs required his presence in his own coimtiy. 
Frederick hoped, howeyer, in an interview with him, to persuade him 
to change his mind, and invited him to the frontiers of Italy; ihe 
duke came, and the two rulers met at Chiavenna, on the Lake of 
Como. The emperor reminded his friend of their alliancft, their 
close relationship, of his honour, and feudal duty as prince; but 
Henry remained inflexible. The emperor then arose in great agita- 
tion, embraced the duke's knees, and entreated him still more 
earnestly — so important was his assstance to him at this moment. 
Henry was mov^ and endeavoured to raise the emperor, but did 
not wayer in his determination. The empress then joined them, and 
said to her husband : " Pray rise, my dear friend, God will help you if, 
on some future day, you do but punish this arrogance !" The emperor 
arose, but the duke retired ; and it was to his absence that Frederick 
might chiefly impute his subsequent bad success at Lignano. He could 
not forget this event, and upon his return to Germany, after the peace 
of Yemce, in 1178, and fresh complaints resounded firom all mdea 
against the duke, he cited him to appear at a diet at Worms. Henry 
did not howeyer attend. He was summoned a second time to Magde- 
burg; even there he did not appear; and,asheequaUyn^lectedathird 
and a fourth summons, at Gealar and Wurzburg, the emperor sat in 
judgment upon him, in the year 1180, and the princes confirmed his 
deposal from all his dignities and fiefs, as his punishment. Fre- 
derick then declared him outlawed, and divided his fiefs among other 
princes. The duchy of Saxony, to which he left but the shaaow of 
preceding greatness — ^for he had himself already felt the danger re- 
sulting from too extensive duchies — ^he awarded to the second son of 
Albert the Bear, Bernard of Anhalt. The duchy in the western 
districts, as far as the dioceses of Cologne and Paderbom, comprisang 
Limburg, Amsberg, Westphalia, Paderbom, and a portion of Ra- 
vensberg, he gave to the Archbishop of Cologne, who, however, 
only succeeded in holding possession of a portion of these coon^es. 
The Bishops of Magdeburg, Hildeshdm, raderbom, Bremen, Ver- 
den, and Minden, took adyantage of this opportunity to make tbem- 
selyes not onlyindependent of the duchjr, but also to increase their 
possessions. The duchy of Bavaria, which was also somewhat de- 
creased, was given to the yaliant Count Palatine, Otho of Wit- 
telsbach, the faithful companion of the emperor. The cities of Lii- 
beck and Batisbon became free imperial cities, and in Pomeraxiia, 
which was now united with the empire, Frederick created the bro* 
thers, Casimir and Bogislaus, dukes. 

After the emperor had pa^ed judgment upon Henry his enemies 
forthwith took up arms, to possess themselves of their portion of the 
booty ; but the old Lion still defended himself yaliandy. They could 


aocom^Hah nothing against him, and were repeatedly beaten, until 
Fiederick himself advanced with an army. Their reTeience for tibe im- 
perial name, and their natural repugnance to be allied with an outlaw, 
dlaanned the duke's friends; he was obliged to quit his patrimonial 
estates, and was forced to see Brunswick, his capital^ invested, one 
of his chief castles^ Bardewick, taken; and finally, when the powerful 
city of Liibeck yidded to the emperor, he found himself left com- 
idetely without any protection, even behind the £lbe. Driven, at 
Lst, to extremities, he cast himself at the feet of the emperor, at 
the ^et of Erfurt, held in the year 1181. The humiliation of his 
old £dend and companion in arms, whose proud soul was now broken, 
drew even tears of sympathy &om the mighty Frederick, and he par- 
doned him. He counselled him, however, in order that, with time, 
the hatred of his enemies might become moderated, to absent him- 
self for three Tears from Germany, and to r^nain, during that inter- 
Tal with his iather-in-law, Henry H., King of England; meanwhile 
his hereditary lands, Brunswick and Liinebur^, remained in his pos- 
eeasion. Thus it was that, as it were by a smgular reverse of late, 
the duke dwelt as an exile for some time in the country where his 
descendants were subsequently to ascend a brilliant throne ; for it was 
there that his consort, Matilda, gave birth to the same William who 
was afterwards the chief branch of the house of Hanover which has 
I^aced the British kings upon the throne. 

This great example of unperial superiority in Grermany may pos- 
&bly have worked upon the minds of the Italians; and as, m the 
following year, 1183, the truce of six years with the Lombards 
ceased, and the emperor, besides, showed himself a merciful ruler, 
they eriDced a more satiid&ed disposition, and the peace of Eosnits 
was accordingly signed with them, which henceforward stood as 
fimdamaital Jaw between the emperor and upper Italy. The em- 
peror himself obtained great privil^es: he had tiie ri^ht to appoint 
his own counts, as the burgomasters chosen by the citizens, and to 
Knew their dignity every five years; he exercised the supr^ne judicial 
power, whilst he derived, b^des, several imposts, particularly the 
fiuhflidies for his army in the Italian campaigns; and all the citiasens, 
^ die age of 15 to 70, swore allegiance to him. Under these 
60Qditii»is die citizens, on their part, reoaved the right of municipal 
freedom within their walls; were permitted to live according to their 
ovn manners and customs, and were even privileged to make sudh 
Kw r^ulati<m8 as they deemed just, and the con^eration o£ th^ 
cities, already existing^ was now confirmed. 

Thus Frederick was enabled, now and for the last time, (in 1 184) 
toprooeed to Italy in a state of peace, and, as he advanoea, he was 
rendered more and more happy in witnessing the tranquillity and 
contentment that rdgned throughout the land, whilst all around him 
^ in a fever of joy and delight The Lombards received him as 
if no msaitj had ever existed between them. He causedf the iron 
<3own <rf tfaie Lombards to be placed on the head of his son Henry, 


and gave him away in marria^, with great pomp and festivily, at 
Milan, in 1186, (which city had especially begged from the em- 
peror that honour) to Constanza, the last heiress of Naples and 
Sicily of the royal Norman race, and which alliance gave the house 
of Hohenstaufen new and liigh expectations; for, being already 
in possession of Northern Italy, if it acquired in addition, Lower 
Italy, the whole peninsula would necessarily soon become subject 
to its dominion, and its subjection would accordingly lead to lliat of 
the whole of Germany. Such were the projects formed by the old 
yet youthfully-sanguine emperor, who was far from antici^ting that 
by this last, and apparently splendid achievement pf his glorious 
career the seeds were sown for the fall and ruin of his house. 

It appeared now as if fate, after having subjected the emperor to 
all its storms, had determined to prepare for him, in his venerable 
age, the glory of a noble death in a sacred cause; for, at this mo- 
ment, intelligence arrived suddenly in Europe that Jerusalem, after 
the unfortunate battle of Hittin, or Tibenad, in 1187, was ^ain 
torn from the Christians by Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, rope 
Urban III. died of grief at this news, and his successors, Gregoiy 
VIII. and Clement III. addressed urgent letters to the European 
princes, summoning them to rise and march forthwith to the dehver- 
ance of the Holy City; consequently, all the knights-templais and the 
knights of St. John, dispersed throughout Europe, were the first to 
embark; the Italians assembled together under the Archbishops of 
Ravenna and Pisa; the Normans furnished all their forces; a fleet of 
fifty vessels from Denmark and Friesland, and thirty-seven fix>m 
Flanders set sail, headed by their great leaders : Richard Coeur-de-lion, 
Kinffof England, Philip Augustus, of France, and the Emperor Frede- 
rick^arbarossa, together with all the neighbouring kings and princes 
came likewise, forward with their whole power for the sacred cause. 
Our venerable hero, Frederick Barbarossa, advanced, in the May of 
the year 1 189, at the head of 150,000 well armed combatants. Ihe 
Greeks, who seemed disposed to practise similar treachery towards 
him as they had against Conrad III., he punished severely, and dis- 
mantled their cities. The Sultan EiHdisti Arskn, of Cogni, or Ico- 
nium, in Asia Minor, who had offered him his friendship, and after- 
wards betrayed him, he attacked and put to flight, taking possession 
of his metropolis. Thus, in all these battles Frederick, even as an old 
man, distinguished himself beyond all the rest by his heroic vigour 
and magnanimity, and he succeeded in leading his army throu^ 
every dsji^er as far as the frontiers of Syria, but here ended the 
term of his noble course. When, on the 10th of June, 1190, the 
army resumed its march from Sileucia, and traversed the river 
Cymius, or Seleph, the bold and venturesome old warrior, to whom 
the passage over the bridge was much too slow, dashed at once with 
his war-horse into the river, in order thus to overtake more speedily 
his son Frederick, who led the van. But the rapid course of the 
Btieam overpowered and bore him away, and when at lengdi, assist- 


ance could be lendeied him, the veteran was found ahready dead. 
The grief and lamentations of his son, of the princes, and of the whole 
aimj were indescribable. Fate nevertheless had by this means saved 
him iiom experiencing subsequently, bitterpain ana mortification, and 
Ills noble soul was not doomed to suffer by the unfortunate termina- 
tion of so great an enterprise. For the (rerman army, after his 
death, was almost entirely destroyed by sickness before the city of 
Antioch; and the emperor*s second son Frederick, Duke of Swabia, 
died at the siege of Acre, or Ptolemais, and Jerusalem was never re- 

The grief which the Emperor Frederick's death excited through- 
out the west of Europe, is testified by a French writer of tnat 
period, who, according to his peculiar style, thus speaks of it: 
*^News so deadly piercmg, even to the very marrow and bone, has 
wounded me so mortally, that all hope and desire of life have passed 
fiom me. For I have heard that that immoveable pillar of the em- 
pire, Gennany's tower of strength and its very foundation, and that 
mominff star which surpassed idl other stars insplendour, Frederick 
the mighty, has ended nis life in the east. Thus no longer exists 
that strong lion, whose majestic coimtenance and powerful arm 
fiightened savage animals from devastation, subjected rebels, and 
made robbers hve in peace and order." And the degree to which 
the imperial dignity in general was raised bv him, is expressed in 
the words of his chancellor, Raynald, at a diet at Besancon, where 
he said, " (rermany possesses an emperor, but the rest oi Europe — . 

* Iliis nege u ooe of the most remarkable and iwngninary on record. Both the 
Cogi of England and France were present, and took their share in the dangers. 
He dtj was eYentnally taken, lifter a long and Tigoroos resistance; hat the sword 
aod disease IumI combined to rednce the army of the Crusaders to such a degree, 
that it was in Tain to contemplate any fresh enterprise. Several archbishops and 
Pttriarchs, twelye bishops, forty dnkes and counts, five hundred of the principal no- 
Uitf, together with a ffteat number of knights, and an innumerable host of inferior 
<Acets ud soldiers, became a sacrifioe. Philip Augustus returned speedily to 
^^looe; but Bichard of England remained, and contmuing on the war with the 
Potest actiTity, acquired the reputation al being the most Taliant knight dT 
hit tinw; whilst Saladin tikewise proved himself a brave and shrewd adversaxy. 
Bkfasrd, however, was remlled to l^uope, through the dangers which threatened his 
<>vn Wngdom. He c(mcluded a peace with the sultan, and gave up to him Jerusa- 
lem; and thus nothing more renudned in the hands of the Christians than a narrow 
Rrip of land along the coast from Jaffii to Acre. 



raOH 1190 TO THE IRTEBBSGNinr, 1273. 

Heniy VI, 1190-1 197— His Mercenary and Gruel Character— Bidiard L of Eng^d 
— Is Seized and Impriaoned by Henry — ^Kaples and Sicdly — ^The Grandeet— Tlar 
Barbaroua Treatment by the Emperor— His Death, 1197— The Bival Soreragu 
—Phillip of SwalMa, 1197-1206, and Otho IV^ 1197-1215— Their Death— Fre- 
derick H, 1215-1250— His Noble Qualities— Love for the ArU and Sckaces-His 
Sarcastic Poetry — ^Preference for Italy — ^Disputes with the Popes— Is exoommn- 
nicated— His Crosade to the Holy Land — C&owned King ci Jemsalem— Manies 
a Princess of;£ng)and— Italy — Pope Gregory IX— Frederick denounced sDd de- 
posed — Dissensions in Germany — ^The Biyal Kings — ^Death of Frederick H, 1250 
— His Extraordinary Genius and Talents — His ^al for Science and EdocadoiH- 
A Glance at the East and Korth-Eastem Parts of Germany— Progress in CM- 
aation— William of Holland, 1247-1256— Conrad IV^ 1250-1254— Their DesU»- 
The Intenregnum, 1256-1273 — ^Progress (rfthe Germanic Constitotion. 

Fbedebick's eldest Bon, Heniy, who, during hk father's fife 
was named his successor, and in whose absence he nad been invested 
with the government of the empire, was not disfiimiUr to his &ther 
in the power of his mind, in chivaliic bearing, and in gnmd ideas 
and plans, but his disposition was extremely partial and severe, c^ 
cruel, and in order to execute great ambitious projects he betzajed 
feelings of a very mercenary nature. This was displayed in an oc- 
currence which has not done him much honour. King luchard Cosoi- 
de-lion, of England, when in Palestine, had at the dege of Akkoo, 
or Acre (of wnich we have already spoken) a diqnite with Duke 
Leopold of Austria; inasmuch as the Germans, aner the citjiras 
taken, being encamped in one of its quarters, Duke Leopold caused 
the German banner to be raised accordingly upon a tower, anuhr 
to the IGngs of England and France. But the proud Riduurd of 
England caused it to be torn down, and it was trampled in the mud 
byuie EngUsh. This was an affitmt to the whole Giermaaaimy, and 
certainly deserved immediate and severe punishment. But the revenge 
which the duke and the emperor Henry took afterwards upon the king 
was of the most treacherous and i^oble character. Kichard, namely, 

2»on his return from Palestine m 1192, was cast by a stonn upon 
e Italian coast, near Aquileja, and wished to continue his route 
through (jermany; but, although he had disguised himself as a pi- 
grim, ne was recognised in Vienna by his expensive style of living, 
and by the imprudence of his servant. He was seized and deliveied 
up to Duke Leopold, who had previously returned, and by whom he 
was surrendered to Ae Emperor Henry. The noble chivalric King 
of England, and brother-in-law of Henry the Lion, was now detamea 
at Tnfels, in dose confinement, above a year, until he was formally 
brought before the assembly of Grerman princes at Hagenau, as a 
criminal, and had defended himself; nor was he liberated and allowed 
to return to his kingdom until the English had paid a ransom of a 
million of dollars — toi that period an immense sum. Li thus proceed- 


iDg against Ricliard, Hemj had, it is true, acted in confoimity with 
the ancient right of the imperial dignity, according to which the 
emperor was authorised to cite before mm all the kings of Christ- 
enaom, and sit in judgment over them. But the manner in which he 
scted in this caae was degrading, and unwortby of any ruling power. 

The emperor concluded with Henry the Lion, who after his return 
fipom England had produced &esh wars, a permanent treaty of peace, 
and by the marriage which took place between the duke's son, Henry 
the Slender, and Ames, princess palatine, and niece of Frederick L, 
the reconciliation of these two distinguished houses was confirmed. 

The principal aim now of the Emperor Henry, beyond every thing 
eke, was to secure to his house Naples and Sicily, the inheritance 
of his consort Constanza; but the avarice and cruelty with which he 
acted in his endeavours to gain his object soon indisposed and ren- 
dered the feelings of his new subjects more and more adverse towards 
him, and increased their hatred against the Germans. For he not 
only conveyed away the gold and silver, together with all the cosdy 
onuunents of the ancient Norman kings, to suduan extent that one 
hundred and sixty animals were loaded therewith, and proceeded with 
them to the castle of Trifels on the Rhine, but hecaused the eyes of the 
crandeeswhohadrebelled tobeputout,andas an insult to didbr mis- 
»>rtunes» and in mockery of their efforts to get possession of the throne 
andwear the crown, he placed them upon seats of red-hot iron, and &s- 
tened upon their heads crowns formea equally of bumii^ iron. The 
rest of their accomplices were, it is true, so much temfied thereby, 
that they vowed allegiance; but this submission did not come from 
their hearts, and Henry's successors paid severely for his cruelties. 

He meditated the most important plans, which, had they been 
aooomjJisihed, would have given to the whole emmre a completely 
di&rent form. Among the rest^ he offered to the German princes to 
leader their fie& hereditary, promised to renounce all imperial claims 
to the property left by bishops and the rest of the clergy; in return 
tcfr whu^, nowever, he desired the imperial throne to be made likewise 
hereditary in his family. He even promised to unite Naples and Sicily 
nhollywith the empire. Many princes voluntarily agreed to these pio- 
poeitioos, which appeared advantageous to them ; some of the greater 
ones, however, renised, and as the pope likewise withheld his consent, 
Henrywae obliged to defer the execution of his great projects to a more 
convenient time. Affidrs now called him agam to oicily, and there 
he died suddenly in 1197, in the 33d year of his age, and at the 
moment when he contemplated the conquest of the Greek empire, by 
which to TOepaie and secure a successfiit issue to the crusades.* 

HissonFrederick was but just ei^ht years old, and the two parties in 
Germany, the Hohenstaufens and uie Guel&, became again so strongly 
divided, that the one side chose as emperor Phillip, Henry^s brother, 

* Hemnr's tomlH at Ftfermo, was opened after neari j 600 years, and the body 
fanii weu jpreaerred. In the features of the ftoe, the expression of imperious pride 
Sid demotic cnidtiy woe still to be recognised. 


and the other Otho, the second son of Henry the Lion, a prince distin- 
guished for his strength and valour, and thus Grerman j had again two 
sovereigns at once. 

Through this unfortunate division of parties the empire became for 
the space of more than ten years the scene of devastation, robbery, and 
murder, and both princes, who were equally endowed with good quaE- 
ties, could do nothing for the country ; on the contrary, in the endea- 
vours made by each to gain over the pope to himself, they yielded to 
the subtle Innocent HI., under whom the papacy attained its highest 
gradeof power, many of their privileges. Otho IV. even acknowledged 
the pope s claim of authority to bestow the empire as he might appoint, 
and called himself in his letters to the pope a Roman king by the 
grace of God and the pope. For which concession, and because he 
was a Guelf, Innocent protected him with all his power, and when 
Phillip in 1208 was assassinated at Bamberg by Otho of Wittelsbach, 
(a nephew of him to whom Frederick I. had given the duchy of 
Bavaria) in revenge because he would not give him his daughter in 
marriage as he had promised, Otho IV. was universally acknowled^ 
as emperor, and solemnly crowned at Rome. His friendship with 
the pope, however, did not last long, for Otho saw that he had gone 
too far in his submission, and ought not to sacrifice for his pnvate 
interest all the privileges of the empire. The pontiff, therefore, op- 
posed to him asking, the youthful Frederick, the son of Henry Vi., 
who had meanwhile grown up in Sicily, and whose ^ardianne be- 
came after the death of his mother Constanza. Frederick soon gained 
adherents, and was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1215, and Otho 
lived henceforward deserted and inactive on his patrimonial lands 
tmtil he died in 1218. 

The Emperor Frederick II., the grandson of Frederick I., by his he- 
roism, firmness of will, and boldness of spirit, and combining with this 
majesty of character both mildness and grace, was worthy of his noble 
&inily , so that the impression of his personal greatness remained Ion? 
after his demise. In addition to which, he was a friend of art and 
science, and was himself a poet: sentiment, animation, and euphony 
breathing in all his works. His bold and searching glance dwelt 
especially upon the follies of his age, and he &equentl}[ lashed them 
with bitter ridicule, whilst, on the contrary, he saw in every one, 
whence or of whatsoever fitith he might be, merely the man, and 
honoured him as such if he found him so worthy. 

And yet this emperor executed but little that was great; his best 
powers were consumed in the renewed contest between the imperial 
and papal authority which never had more ruinous consequences 
than under his reign, and Grermany in particular found but little 
reason to rejoice in its sovereign, for his views even beyond all the 
other Hohenstaufens, were directed to Italy. By birth and educa* 
tion more an Italian than a German, he was particularly attached to 
his beautiful inheritance of the Two Sicilies, and in Germany, thus 
neglected, the irresponsible dominion of the vassals took still deeper 


root, whilst, on the other hand, in Fiance the royal power, by with* 
drawing considerable fiefs, commenced preparing its victory over the 
feudal system. 

There were also three grand causes which served to excite the popes 
against Frederick. In the first place, they could not enduie thJEtt, 
hesides northern Italy, he should possess Sicily and Naples, and was 
thus enabled to press upon their state from two sides; secondly , they 
were mdignant because he would not yield to them, unconditionally, 
the great privileges which the weak Otho IV. had oeded to them; 
hot, thirdly, what most excited their anger was, that, in the heat of 
their dispute, he frequently turned the sharpness of his sarcasm 
against mem, and endeavoured to make them both ridiculous and 

The commencem^t of the schism, however, arose from a par- 
ticular circumstance. Frederick, at his coronation, in Aix-la-Gha- 
pelle, had spontaneously ensa^ed to imdertake a crusade for the 
deliverance of Jerusalem, and this promise he renewed when he was 
crowned emperor at Rome, in 1220. But he now found in his 
Itslam inheritance, as well as in the opposition shown by the Lom- 
bard cities, which, after the death of Frederick I., had a^in become 
arrogant, so much to do that he was continually obliged to require 
iroin the pope renewed delays. The peaceful and just Honorius III. 
gianted tnem to him; and there existed between him and the em- 
peror a fiiendly feeling, and even a mutual feeling of respect. But 
with the passionate Gregory IX., the old dispute between the spi- 
litual and temporal power soon again broke forth, and Gregory 
strongly urged the crusade. Intheyear 1227, Frederick actually sailed 
with a fleet, but returned after a few days, imder the pretext of ill- 
pes, and the whole expedition ending m nothing, Gre^ry became 
inritated, and without listening to or admitting even tne emperor's 
excuses, exconomimicated him, for he maintained his sickness was a 
fiction. To contradict these charges by facts, the emperor actually 
went the ensuing year to Palestme. jBut upon this the pope cen- 
sured him, even more strongly than before, declaring any one, 
under excommunication, to be an unfit instrument for the service of 
God. And in-order that Frederick might accomplish nothing great 
in the holy land, he sent thither commands, that neither the ckrgy 
there, nor the orders of knighthood, should have community with 
him: nay, he himself even caused his troops to make an incursion 
into Frederick's Italian lands, and conquered a portion of Apulia. 

But Frederick, in the meantime, speedUy brought the war in Pales* 
tine to a successful termination. The Sultan of Egypt, at Kameel, 
partly through the great &me which the imperial sovereignty enjoyed 
in die east, and partly&om personal esteem for Frederick(but weakened 
pnncipally by family dissensions), concluded with him a truce for 
^ years, and gave up Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. The 
^peror then entered the holy city, and visited the grave, but the 
P^^iarchs of Jerusalem and the priests, obedient to the commands 
of the pope, would celebrate no religious service in his presence. 


Notwithstanding which, he perfinmed his devotions, and in the pre- 
aence of his nobles, crownea himself with the crown of the kings d 
Jerusalem; a right he had acquired by his marria^ with lolontk, 
the daughter ofKin^ John, of Jerusalem;* after which he retained 
quicldy to Italy. His presence speedily repaired all that was lost, 
and the pope saw himself obliged, in 1230, to conclude a peace and 
lemove me ban. 

A tranquil moment seoned now to present itself in Frederick*fl 
fife, but &te attacked him from another side. His own son, Heniy, 
whom he had left in Germany, as imperial viceroy, rebelled against 
him, excited, probably, by ambition and evil connsellorB. After 
fifteen years aosence, Frederick returned to Germany, and with a 
bleedin£C heart he was obliged to overpower his own son by foice, 
take hi^ priBcmer, and p^ him in comment in Apulia, W 
seven years afterwaxds, he died. 

Upon this occasion, Frederick also hdd, in 1235, a grand diet at 
MentE, where 64 princes, and about 12,000 nobles and knights 
were present. Here written laws were made relative to the peace 
of the country, and other regulations adopted, which showed the em- 
pire the prudence of its emperor. Before the diet assembled, he cele- 
brated, at Worms, his espousal with his second ccmsort, the English 
princess, Isabella. The miperial bride was received upon the non- 
tiers by a splendid suite of nobles and knights; in all the cities 
tfarougk which she passed, the clergy met her, accompanied bj 
choirs of sacred music, and the cheerM peals of the church-bdls; and 
in Colome, the streets of which were superbly decorated, she ivas 
received by ten thousand citizens on horseback, in rich dothing and 
arms. Carriages with organs, in the form of ships, thdr wheels and 
horses concealed by purple coverings, caused an harmonious music to 
resound, and throughout the whole night choirs of maidens sere- 
naded beneath the windows of the emperor's bride. At the 
marriage in Worms, four kings, eleven dukes, and thirty counts and 
margraves were present. Frederick made the most costly presents 
to the English ambassador; and, among the rest, he sent nch giils 
of curiosities from the east to the King of England, as well as ubree 
leopards, the leopards being included in the English coat of arms. 

From these p^ureful occupations, Fredenck was obliged to turn, in 
the following year, to more serious affairs in Italy, where the Lombard 
cities more especially claimed his presence, they having renewed their 
ancient alliance amongst themselves and refusmg to yield to him the 
obedience he required as emperor. With the assistance of his vaEont 
leader, the knight Ezzelin de Romano, he conquered several of the 
allied Tcities, and so beat the Milanese in 1237, at Cortenuova, 
that they would willingly have humbled themselves, if he had 
granted only moderate conditions. But, unwarned by the example 
of his grandfather, he required them to submit at discretion: whilst 

* The HjDga of Naples and Sicily inherited the title of King of Jerusalem from 


the citizens, lemembering earHer times, preferred djing under iheir 
shields, rather, th^ said, than by ilie rope, fiunine, or fire, and 
fiom this period commenoed in reality the xnisfortunes of Frederick's 
life. According to the statement made by one of onr -writers, '' he 
lost the favour of many men by his implacable severity^" His old 
enemy also, Giegoiy IX, lose up again ag^ joined hence- 

forth the confederation of the aties, and ezcommunicated him a 
seooiid time. Indeed, the enmity of both parties went so &r, andde- 
genezated so much into personal animosity, ihat the pope comparing 
tbe emp^r, in a letter to the other princes, *^ to that Apocalyptic 
mcmster rising firom the sea, whidiinis full of blasphemous names, and 
in coknir diequered like a leopard," Frederick immediately replied 
wilh another passe^ from Scripture: *^ Another red horse arose 
&om the sea, and he who sat thereon took peace £com the earth, so 
that the living should loll each other." 

But in that i^e there existed one great authority which operated 
poweifiillY on the side of the pope, and fought against Frederick — 
tlu8 was tne power of puUic mniatL The pope now cast upon the 
empemr the beavy charge that ne was a despiser of religion and of the 
hdtj damhj and was inclined to the infidelity of the Saraoais (the 
&Gt that Frederick had employed, in the war with the LombardianS| 
10,000 Samoens, aj^^eared to justify this charge), and although the 
emperor several times, both verbally and in writing, solonnly de- 
daied that he was a true Christian, and as such wished to live and 
die: nay, although he was formally examined in religion by several 
bishops, and caused a testimony of his orthodoxy to be publislied, 
this accusation of the pope still found belief amongst most men. In 
addition to which, Frederick's rash and capricious wit had too often 
thoughtlessly attacked sacied subjects; whilst his life also was not 
pure and blameless, but stained with the excesses of sensuality. Ao- 
oordingly lie sank more and more in general estimation, and it was 
this that embittered the latter period of his life, and at length en- 
tbely ooDsumed him with vexation. 

GK^iy DL, who died in 1241, nearly one hundred years old, 
V&8 sacceeded by Innocent lY., who was a still more violent enemy 
of the emperor than even Gregory had been. As Frederick stall 
cQQtintted to be powerful in Italy, and threatened him even in Home 
iteel^ the pope retired to Genoa, and from thence to Lyons, in 
Fiance. There he renewed, in 1245, in a large council, the ban 
3^ain5t the emperor, although the latter offered himself in peace and 
uioidship, and was willing to remove aUpoints of complaint, whilst, 
in addition to all this, his ambassador, Tnaddeus of Suessa, pleaded 
most powerfully for his lord. Indeed, the pope went so &r as so- 
lenmly to pronounce the deposal of the emperor fix>m all his states 
iffld dignities. When the bull of excommunication was circulated 
m Germany, many of the spiritual princes took advan tag e of the 
excitement produced thereby, and elected, in 1246, at Wiirzburg, 
^ landgrave, Henry Baspe, of Thuiingia, as rival emperor. The 


lattery However, could gain no absolute authority, and died the fol- 
lowing year. As Frederick, however, still remained in Italy, en- 
tangled in constant wars, the ecclesiastical princes elected another 
sovereign, Count William of Holland, a youth twentv veara of age, 
who, in order that he might become the head of the order of 
knighthood, was forthwith solemnly promoted &om his inferior rank 
of squire to that of a knight. The greatest confusion now existed 
in Germany, as well as in Italy. '* After the Emperor Frederick 
was excommunicated,** says an ancient historian, " the robbers con- 
gratulated themselves, and rejoiced at the opportunities for pillage 
now presented to them. The ploughshares were transformed into 
sworos, and the scythes into limces. Every one supplied himself 
with steel and flint, in order to be able to produce fixe and spread 
incendiarism instantly." 

In Italy, the war continued umnterruptedly and without any deci- 
sive result, especially with the Lombardian cities. The imperial arms 
were often successful, but the spirit of the emperor was bowed down, 
and at last his good fortune occasionaUy deserted him. In the year 
1249, his own son, Enadus, whom hehad made King of Sicily, and of 
all his sons the most chivalric and handsome, was taken prisoner by 
the Bolognese in an unsuccessful combat near Fossalta. Tne irritated 
citizens refiised all offers of ransom for the emperor's son, and con- 
demned him to perpetual imprisomnent, in which he continued for 
two-and-twenty years, and survived all the sons and grandsons of 
Frederick, who perished every one by poison, the sword, and the axe 
of the executioner. 

Exclusive of the bitter grief caused by his son's misfortune, the 
emperor, in his last years, was a£9icted with the additional pain and 
mortification at finding his long-tried friend and chancellor, Petrus 
de Vincis, to whom he had confided the most important affairs of 
his empire, charged with the crime of attempting to take the life of 
his master by poison. Matthieu of Paris, at least, relates as certain, 
that the physician de Vincis handed to the emperor a poisonous 
beverage as a medicine, but which the latter, having had his sus- 
picions excited, did not drink. The chancellor was thrown into 
prison, and deprived of his eyesight, where he committed suicide by 
dashing his head against the walL Wliether de Vincis was guilty, 
or whether appearances were alone against him which he coiud not 
remove, is not to be decided, owing to the insufiSciency of the infor- 
mation handed down to us. The emperor, however, did not long 
survive this painful event; he died in 1250, in the arms of his son, 
Manfred, at the castle of Fiorentino or Firenzuolo, iu the fifly-sizth 
year of his age. 

If after contemplating the stormy phases which convulsed this em- 
peror's life, we turn our observation to his noble qualities, his acute and 
sensitive feeling for all that was beautiful and grand, and, above all, to 
what he did for science and enlightenment generally in Naples, his 
hereditary land, we feel penetrated with profound regret when we 


find that all tHtf, like a tranmtoiy apparition, passed away without 
any lastang trace; tut more especially are we pained to witness how 
he n^lected to leim with affection and devotion over his German 
subjects. Since Charlemagne and Alfred of England, no potentate 
had existed who loved and promoted civilization, in its broadest 
sense, so much as Frederick II. At his court the same as at that 
of Charlemagne, were assembled 'the noblest and most intellectual 
minds of that age; through them he caused a multitude of Greek 
works, and in particular tnose of Aristotle, to be translated from 
the Arabic into Latin. He collected, for that period, a very conader- 
able Hbraiy, partly by researches made in his own states, partly during 
liis stay in oyria, and through his alliance with the Arab princes. 
Besides, he did not retain these treasures jealously and covetously 
for himself, but imparted them to others; as, for mstance, he pre- 
sented the works of Aristotle to the University of Bologna, although 
that city was inimically disposed towards him, to which he added 
the following address : '* Science must go hand in hand with TOvem- 
ment, legislation, and the pursuits of war, because these, omerwise 
subjected to the allurements of the world and to ignorance, either 
sink into indolence, or else, if unchecked, stray beyond idl sanc- 
tioned Emits. Wherefore, from youth upwards, we have sought 
and loved science, whereby the soul of man becomes enlightened 
and stien^hened, and without which his life is deprived of all regu- 
lation and innate freedom. Now that the noble possession of science 
is not diminished by being imparted, but, on the contrary, grows 
thereby still more miitftd, we accordingly will not conceal ihe pro- 
duce of much exertion, but will only consider our own possessions 
as truly delightful when we shall have imparted so great a benefit 
to others. But none have a greater right to ihem wan those ^eat 
men, who, firom ihe original ancient and rich sources, have denved 
new streams, and thereby supply the thirsty with a sweet and healthy 
nfieshment. Wherefore, receive these works as a present from your 
fiiend, the emperor," &c. 

A splendid monument of his noble mind and genius is presented in 
his coae of laws for his hereditary kingdom of Naples and Sicily, and 
which he caused to be composed chiefly by Peter de Vincis. Ac- 
cording to the plan of a truly great le^slator, he was not influenced 
by the idea of creating something entirely new, but he built upon 
the basis of what already existed, adapted whatsoever to him ap- 
peared cood and necessary for his main object, and so formed a 
work which gave him as ruler the necessary power to establish a 
fimi foundation for the welfare of his people. Unfortunately, the 
convulsions of his later reign and the following periods, never al- 
Wed this ffrand work to develope its results entirely. 

Frederick himself possessed a Knowledge unusual, and acquired 
W few men of his time. He understood Greek, Latin, Italian, 
French, German, and Arabic. Amongst the sciences, he loved 
chiefly natural history, and proved himself a master in that science 


by a work he composed upon the art of hawking; for it not only 
displajs the moat perfect and thorough investigation in the jnode of 
life, nourishment, diseases, and the iraole nature of those birds, but 
dwells also upon their construction generally, both internally and ex- 
tenudly. This desire after a fundamental knowledge in natural scieiice 
had the happiest influence, especially upon the medical sdenoes. 
Fhyiioiana were obliged to study anatomy before every thing else; 
they weie referred to the enthusiastic ap^hcation of Hippociates and 
Gafen, and not allowed to practice their profession until Aey bad 
received from the board of faculty at Salerno or Naples, a satisfactory 
and honourable certificate; besides which, they were obliged to pass 
an examina^on before the imperial chamber, formed of a committee 
of competent members in the science. 

The emperor foimded the University of Naples in 1224, and he 
considerably improved and enlarged the medical school at Salerno. 
At both places also, through his zesd, were formed the first ooUectioos 
of art, which, unfortunately, in the tumults of the following ages, 
were eventually destroyed. 

Of Frederick II. it is related, as was already stated of Cbaile- 
ma^e, that the eastern princes emulated each other in sendiog him 
artistical works as signs of friendship. Amongst the resi, the Sol- 
tan of Egypt presented him with an extraordinary tent. The sun 
and moon revolved, moved by invisible agents, and showed the 
hours of the day and night in just and exact relation. 

At the court of the emperor, there were often contests in science 
and art, and victorious vnreaths bestowed, in which scenes Frederick 
shone as a poet, and invented and practised many difficult measuies 
of verse. His chief jud^, Peter de Vincis, the composer of the 
code of laws, wrote also the first sonnet extant in Italian. Minds, 
in fact, developed themselves, and were in full action in the vicinity 
and presence of the great emperor, and there they oommajaded fim 
scope for all their powers. 

His own personal merit was so distinguished and universally re- 
cognised, that he was enabled to collect around him the most cele- 
brated men of the age without feeling any jealousy towards them-' 
always a proof of true greatness. His most violent enemies evea 
could not withhold from him their admiration of his great qualities. 
His exterior was also both commanding and prepossesmng. Like 
his grandfather he was fair, but not so taU, although well and strongly 
formed, and very skilful in all warlike and corporeal exercises. His 
forehead, nose, and mouth bore the impression of that delicate and 
yet firm character which we admire in the works of the Greeks, and 

* On the bridge across the Vultumus, in Capua, fras erected a statue of the Em- 
peror Frederick XL, with several others, and it continued there in a Yery good state 
of preservation until the most recent vara of modern times, when it became a prey- 
to the devastation committed. The head of the emperor on this statue, however, 
has been copied and engraved upon a ring; and it is after that, that the ezceUent 
portrait of Frederick has been drawn in the History of the Hohenstaufensy by M. 
F. de Baumer. 


name after them ; and his eye generallj ezpieaaed the most serene 
cheeriyhiesg, but on iinportant and seiioue occasions it indicated 
pmtj and seyeiity. ThuB, in general, the happj conjunction of 
mildness with eeiiouaneas was, throughout his life, the distinguishing 
fefttuie of this emperor. His deauL produced great conmsion in 
Italy, and still greater dissension in Germany. In the latter country 
two emperors again stood opposed to each other, throne against 
thione: the Hohenstaufen party acknowledging and upholding Con- 
lad, Frederick's son, in opj^osition to William of Holland, the former 
having already, during ins father's life, been elected King of the 

But before we relate the history of these two rival emperors, it 
will be useful and interesting to cast our glance at the countries in 
the east and nordx-eartempartB of Germany. 

Europe was about this time threatened by a terrible enemy £rom the 
east, equally as dreadful as the Hunns were in earlier times. This 
enemy consisted of the Mongolians, who ever since the year 1206, 
under Dschinges-Kban, had continued to ravage Asia, and led by 
him had advanced as far as Moravia and Silesia. In the year 1241 
they gained a great battle near Liegnitz over the Sileaans, under the 
command of Henry H. of Liegnitz, who himself fell chivalrously 
fighting at the head of his troops; but by the valour with which he 
dirouted the victory with the enemy, he destroyed the desire they 
ha previously indulged in of penetrating farther westward, as they 
now turned towards Hungary. Thus, by his own death, Henry the 
Hous, saved Europe; ana indeed, upon the same spot (Wahlstadt) 
wheie, on the 26tn of August, 1813, the action called the battle of 
K&tzba<^ was so victoriously fought. 

In this emergency Frederick well fdt what his duty was as first 
phxistian prince, and very urgently pressed the other kings for their 
immediate assistance agamst the common enemy; but at this mo- 
ment the general disorder was too great, and his appeal for aid re- 
puined without any effect. As regards Silesia and Hungary the 
incursion of the Mongolians produced this result, that many German 

Cts migrated to the deserted and depopulated districts, and 
brwaid Lower Silesia became, indeed, more a German than 
Slavonic country. Other neighbouring countries also were about this 
period occupied and populated by the Germans, consisting of the coasts 
of the Baltiis, Prussia, Livonia, Esthland, and Courland. As early as at 
the end of ihe twelfth century, Meinhardt, a canon of the monastery 
of Legeberg, built a church at Exkalle, (in the vicinity of the pre- 
sent Rica,) where, shortly afterwards, Pope Clement III. founded a 
hishopnc, and from this central point the diffusion of Christianity 
extended in that district. But temporal force soon mixed itself in 
these spiritual and peaceful exertions; the resistance of the heathen 
Uvonians induced Pope Celestin HI. to cause a crusade to be preached 
^giiinst them, and speedily a multitude of men from the north of 
G«nnany stormed towards these parts. A spiritual order of knight- 



hood was fotmed tinder the name of the kniffhts of the swoid, and 
with the Christian doctrines the dominion of this oider was by de- 
grees extended over Livonia, EstUand, and Courland. The na- 
tives who remained after the sanguinaty batdes of this exterminating 
war were reduced to oppressive slavery, which was for the first tame 
moderated in our own age by the Emperor Alexander. 

In Prussia also the sword established at the same time with Chris- 
tianity the German dominion and superiority. About the year 1208 
a monk of the monastery of Kolwitz, in Pomerania, of the name of 
Christian, crossed the Vistula, and preached Christianity to the heath- 
en Prussians. But when the pope made him a bishop, and wished to 
establish a formal hierarchal government, they rose in contest against 
him, in which the knights of the sword, together with Duke Henry 
the Bearded of Breslau, and many warriors of the neighbouring lands, 
immediately marched forth and gave warlike aid to the new bishop. 
But little was accomplished until the latter, upon the advice of Duke 
Henry, summoned to his assistance the knights of the Teutonic Order, 
which had originated in an institution of North Grermany. Accord- 
ingly, in the year 1229, their first grand master, Herman Salza, with 
not more than twenty-eight knights and one hundred squires and at- 
tendants, advanced to Prussia; he proceeded in his work cautiously 
by establishing fortified places, among which Thbrn, on the Vistula, 
serving, as it were, for the entrance gate of the country, was the first; 
•and Culm, Marienwerder, Elbing, Braunsberg, and others speedily 
followed. The dominion of the Teutonic order was spread even in 
Livonia, as the knights of the sword, after a severe deteat by the Li- 
vonians, in 1273, were received in it; and in 1255, upon the advice 
of Ottocar of Bohemia, who had made a crusade against the Prussians, 
in which Rudolphus of Hapsburg joined, the present metropolis of the 
country was founded, and in honour: of him was called Konigsberg. 
The cities around, by their favourable situation for commerce, soon 
flourished again, and the peasants found themselves in a happier situa- 
tion than their Livonian neighbours, for their services and imposts 
were rendered more moderate, and absolute slavery was only expe- 
rienced by a few individuals as a pimishment for their defection. 

When we add to this the various emigrations which had commenced 
already much earlier, populating the Vandal countries as well as Bran- 
denburg, Mecklenburg, and Pomerania, and take into consideration 
the many flourishing cities which were built there by Grerman citizens, 
we may be inclined to style the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as 
the epoch of the miction of Grermans towards the north-east, the 
same as that of the fourth and fifth centuries after Christ is called the 
period of migration towards the west and south. Indeed, if we 
reckon the hundreds of thousands which Grermany at the same 
period sent with the crusades to the east, together with those sent 
with the Hohenstaufen emperors to Italy, we must really feel asto- 
nished at the population which that vast country produced, and assur- 
edly cannot join with many other historians in calling a period pre- 


aentmg £ke this so much vigour and activitj of life an epoch of 
absolate mi^ry, slavitude, and desolation. 

Had the Emperor Frederick rightly known the strength of Ger- 
many, and had he understood how to avail himself of the means 
to render it still more powerfid by union, the whole of the east and 
north of Europe might then have become annexed to that country. 
But his eyes were turned exclusively upon Italy, and there he 
fruitlesaly sacrificed aU his strength. 

Conrad, meanwhile, was likewise more occupied with his patrimonial 
inheritance than with Germany. He went as earlvas 1251 to Italy, and 
left his consort in the former country who gave birth the following year 
to the unfortunate Conradin. Conrad, imder the excommunication of 
the pope, like his father, conquered Naples, it is true, but made the in- 
Iiahtants his most implacable enemies, by placing a bridle upon the 
horse, which stood as an emblem of the city upon the market-place. He 
died Portly after, in 1254, and said a few moments before his death: 
" Unhappy being that I am, why did my parents bring me into this 
worid only to expose me to so much misfortune ! The church, which 
should have shown both me and my father a maternal heart, has be- 
come much rather our step-mother; and this empire which flourished 
before the birth of Christ is now fading away and approaching its 
destruction !" And in this he prophesied too truly with respect to 
his own race, for he was the last king of the Hohenstaufens. Fre- 
derick n. had, it is true, left behind him a second son (Henry) by his 
niatriage with Isabella, and a third (Manfred) by Blanca, his Italian 
oonaort, and two CTandsons, the sons of his unfortunate eldest son 
Heniy; but they all died in the flower of their age, and about the 
flame time: so that at the death of Conrad IV., there only remained 
of the whole fiunily of ihe Hohenstaufens, his son, the unfortunate 
Coniadin, and his brother Manfred. We shall very shortly leam the 
fcte of these two princes. 

King William also lived bul a few years after Conrad, and in so little 
esteem, that a common citizen of Utrecht cast a stone at him, and a 
noblenum plundered his consort upon the highway. When in the 
winter of tne year 1256 he advanced against tne Friesi, and crossed 
the ice near Medenblick, it broke tmder him, and he remained 
with his hear^ wer-horae stickbg in the morass, where the Friesi 
IdUed him, although he offered a large sum for his life. 

After his death the confused state of affairs in Germany became 
greater than ever. 

Upon the demise of Conrad IV., and William of Holland, no 
German prince would accept the imperial crown, except, perhaps, 
Ottocar, King of Bohemia, but who, however, was not liked. 
Most of them preferred rather to occupy themselves in ruling over, 
8nd extending their own hereditary lands, than to take upon them- 
sdves the heavy charge of restoring order and peace in those coun- 
^ of Gfermany now become almost again savage, and thus renounce 
thdr own selfiah inteiestSj in order to consecrate all their powers to 


the common good. The spiritual electors now conceived the un- 
worthy and degrading idea of electing a forei^er for empeior. 
Still tnej were by no means unanimous in their choice ; the one TOrty 
elected an Englisnman, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the brother of King 
Henry III.; the other chose a Spaniard, Alphonso, King of Castile, 
who, on account of his knowledge in astronomy, was called the Sage, 
but who nevertheless was not wise enough to know how to rule even 
his own country. Both had offered the imperial princes conmderable 
sums of money, and Richard, as some relate, came with thirty-two 
carriages to Germany, each drawn by eight horses, together with an 
immense tun filled with sterlings, an English coin of that period. 
He possessed extensive tin mines in Cornwall, then almost Ihe onlv 
mines in the world, whence he acquired immense riches. With such 
arms as these, he speedily conquered many hearts, and was solemnly 
crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1257, after which he returned to Eng- 
land again, accompanied by several Germans of high rank. In Eng- 
land, however, the home of national pride, he was not treated other- 
wise than any other English prince or nobleman; and this so mndi 
vexed the Germans who were with him, that they returned to their 
country discontented. After that, Richard visited Germany at three 
different times, but on each occasion only for a short space. Alphonso, 
however, never came to that country at all. During this period, 
therefore, disorder and violence necessarily increased from day to 
day, so that the petty princes, counts, knights, and the cities them- 
selves, lived in constant anarchy and warfare with each other, to an 
extent, that those who desired justice and tranquillity, wished most 
heartily for an emperor who might become their protection and 

Gonradin of Swabia, the son of the Emperor CJonrad IV., the last 
descendant of the Hohenstaufen race, fell at this moment a victim 
to the most cruel fate. He was styled Gonradin by the Italians, be- 
cause he ended his career at so early an age. After his fiither's 
death, he had been brought up in Bavaria, and aft;erwards in 
Swabia, where he still retained some small inheritance; whilst his 
uncle Manfred, as regent, and subsequently as king, administered 
his hereditary estates in Naples and Sicily. The popes, however, 
who still remained the irreconcileable enemies of the Hohenstaufen 
house, sought to despoil him of these possessions; and as they 
could not effect this by their own power, it was determined by Cle- 
ment IV. to brinff another king in opposition to the hated Manficcd. 
He applied, therefore, to Charles, Duke of Anjou, who marched forth 
in 1266 ; he was accompanied by a numerous suite of French knights, 
who were ever happy to avail themselves of any expedition which 

{)romised them rich booty. King Manfred, who had unfortunately 
ost, in a storm, the whole of his fleet, with which he had set sail 
in order to prevent the French from landing, was defeated in an 
action at Benevento, on the 26th of February, 1266, principally 
through treachery, and preferred sacrificing himself by an heroic death, 


nther than to endure an imominiotid life in piison; lie therefoto 
nuhed into the midst of tne enemy's ranks, and sank mortally 
woonded. His children, however, were seized by the conqueiori 
and remained in captivity during the rest of their hves. 

When the youtmul Conradin now became older, and bethought 
him of the lands which belonged to him, whereof one city alono 
was richer than his German possessions altogether, the bold dispo- 
sition of his ancestors awoke within him, and he resolved to drive 
the robbers fix>m his inheritance. In 1268, therefore, he went forth, 
aocompanied by the faithful friend of his youth, Prince Frederick of 
Bftden and many &ithful knights who followed him from Qermany. 

In Italy the numerous adherents of the Ghibelin party imme- 
diately flocked to him; the Romans in defiance of their pope, Cle« 
meat, who had called for the aid of the French, led him in triiimph 
into their cit^, and he soon stood opposed to the enemy with a strong 
amy near Tagliacozzo in Lower Italy. In battle, also, fortune at 
&st favoured nim; the enemy was put' to flight, but, unfortunately, 
in the pursuit hid own army got into disorder, and in their eagerness 
for bootj fell too soon upon the enemy's camp, for at that moment 
the Fiench reserve returned and rushed upon the plunderers. Tho 
latter were wholly defeated, and Conradin, with his friend Frederick, 
after they had long fought most bravely, were forced to fly towards 
the sea. They had already got on board a ship at Astura, and were 
just setting sail for Pisa, when they were overtaken, made prisoners, 
and led before Charles of Anjou. And such was the insolence, per- 
fidy, and cruelty of the tyrant, that he treated Conradin as a rebel 
against himself the legitimate and true king, and caused both the 
piinces, at the age of sixteen, to be beheaded publicly in the market 
place of Naples on the 28th of October, 1268.» 

With the unfortunate Conradin ended the powerfrd house of the 
Hohenstaufens, and that was produced by means of the same pos* 
Kssions by which Frederick I. thought to elevate it to the highest 
'legree of splendour and glory. But the Swabian patrimony now 
fell into so many divisions, that eventually no territory throughout 
Gennany was divided into so many ownerships as Swabia. As the 
duchy was never restored, the whole of its states henceforward 
formed a part of the immediate possessions of the empire. Not only 
the bishons, coimts, and superior free lords, but also the inferior 
i^ of tine nobility, the cities, monasteries, and even the peasantry, 
vhich had been previously the vassals and subjects of the duke, be** 
pBine now emancipated ; but they had not these rights and privileges 
udividually, like the larger imperial lordships, but only as an entire 

^^bined body of the Swabian states, which they enjoyed as members 

*' ■ .. ■ _ — . . ■- . - -■ 

' The onlbrtimats Conradin, before his execution, tnuuferred aU his rights to 
wfted's dani^ter, Craistanza; and this prinoeu hecame alterwardB the ayenger of 
the Hohenrtanfens. For, as the wife of Peter of Arragon, she fiivoured the horriMo 
oiaispincy known under the name of the Sicilian Vespers, in the year 12S2, hy 
*m Chirks of A^oa lost his usurped kingdom of SioU)r. 


thereof. The emperor derired from them important revenues, and the 
administration of these imperial possessions was transferred to senes- 
phals; so that instead of the ancient Swabian dukes there were only 
now the imperial bailiwicks: Helvetia or Switzerland, Akaoei and 
S wabia, which were divided into cantons. These arrangements were 
adopted imder the reign of the succeeding emperor, Rudolphus. 

The fate of the duchy of Swabia leads us naturally to oonader tk 
circumstances which produced, especiallv in the interior of Geraumj, 
the dismemberment and abolition of the ancient national duchies. 
The basis for this important event was laid, as we have already eeeiif 
at the time of the deposition of Heniy the Lion, in the year 1180. 
Although the plan and the limits of this general history of the em- 

Eire will not permit us to trace more in detail all those prinodj 
ouses which have arisen from the ruins of these ancient ductiies, we 
may mye at least a general outline of the changes as they occurred: 

1. The duchy of Saxony had already become separated from the 
important margraviate of Brandenburg, which was transferred to 
Henry the Bear, who received therewith all the prerogatives of a 
duke in time of war, together with the rights of an elector, in his 
quality of arch-chamborlain. His son Bern^ re-united subsequently, 
it is true, the duchy with the margraviate, and was created a duke; 
but his territory was of very little importance, and was, beades, 
divided into two portions between the two fiumlies of Lauenburg 
and Wittenberg, both of which disputed with each other for a long 
time for the possession of the office of grand marshal, and which 
question was not settled until the reign of Charles IV., who de- 
cided in favour of the Wittenberg house. 

The ducal authority of the Anmbishop of Cologne in the western 
part of Saxony likewise could not recover its former elevation. The 
nobles in his jurisdiction made themselves gradually independent, 
after the example presented to them, especially by the spiritual 
princes of the ancient duchy. Besides which, the Archbishop of 
Bremen came into possession of the lordship of Stade, in the terri* 
lory of Detmarsh; the peasants took upon themselves the principal 
authority in that country; the Count of Oldenbui^ refused to re- 
main united with the duchy, and the important city of Liibeck was 
raised to the di^ty of an imperial free city by Frederick H. ; whilst 
at the celebrated diet of Mentz, in 1235, the emperor having con- 
ferred upon the Guelfic house new power and authority, by re- 
storing to the infant duke, Otho, the duchies of Brunswick and 
Luneburg, that powerful family likewise refused to recognise longer 
any rights claimed by the house of Saxe-Anhalt. Thuringia had 
already long since separated itself from the duchy, and had possessed 
its own particular counts from the time that the house of Saxony 
became imperial: we speak here of the north and southern parts of 
Thuringia, which became united under the valiant margrave, Eccard 
of Meissen. Under the Hohenstaufens» the margraviate was re- 
placed by a landgraviate. The landgraves resided at Eisenach and 


in the eastle of Wartbtug. Their jpossiessions extended, by means of 
certain allodial acquisitions, over Heaee and the towns oi Munden, 
Cassel, Marburg, &c., as far even as the banks of the Rhine; such 
was the power commanded by Louis lY., landgrave of Thuringia, 
the husliand of Elizabeth the Holy, at the commencement of the 
thirteenth century. With Heniy Raspe, who died childless, in 
1247, the mascuhne branch of the house of Thuringia became ex* 
tinct The female line contested together for the inheritance, and 
two of the descendants carried on a war against each other during a 
period of seven years. At length, in 1164, the fief of Thuringia 
was conferred upon Otho the imustrious, of Meissen; but the aUo- 
dial possessions, and especially the Hessian territory, fell to Henry, 
the son of Sophia, of Brabant. The aforesaid Henry of Meissen 
was the founder of the present Saxon house, and Henry of Hesse 
that of the house of the landgrave of Hesse. 

In the north of Geimany the counts of Holstein possessed claims 
to immediate imperial loroships: Mecklenburg, which belonged to 
the counts of Schwerin on the one part, and to the Obotrite princes 
on the other, had become an immediate fief of the empire, the same 
as the Duchy of Fomerania. 

2. The Duchy of Bavaria, when it passed from the house of the 
Gael& to that of Wittelsbach, possessed nothing more than the 
mere name of the ancient duchy. Carinthia, Austria, and Styria, 
had alieady since the year 1156, under the Saxon emperors, oeen 
separated nx>m Bavaria. 

Otho of Wittelsbach governed his duchy with much greater 
vigour certaiiily than Bernard of Saxony; but the bishops, neverthe- 
les, withdrewm>m his sovereignty ; Ratisbon became an impeiial city ; 
ud in the south of Bavaria the Count of Andechs, in his quality of 
heb to the house of the Counts of Dachau, came in possession of 
the title of Duke of Merau, (which this houde had assumed from a 
ttack of land on the coasts of Dalmatia), which title he extended 
to the whole of his possessions in Franconia, and made it the 
basis for claiming his independence. In 1248, however, the house 
of Andechs became extinct, whence the greater portion of its posses- 
siona passed over to a house of Swabia (the HohenzoUer branch), 
the buigraves of Nuremberg, and laid the foundation for the 
duchies of Anspach and Baireuth. 

Meantime the house of Wittelsbach, besides the acquisition of 
the duchy of Bavaria, came into poseession of another territory 
extremely important: the county-palatine of the Rhine, which it 
t^ved in 1227, by the marriage of Otho the Illustrious, with the 
Weditary countess palatine of the house of Guelf But the power of 
this house became considerably diminished by its dismemberment, 
^ the death of Louis tlie Severe, in 1292, whose eldest son, Ru- 
^Iphus, received the j^latinate, and his second son, Louis, sue* 
ceeded to the dudiy. The count palatine of the Rhine possessed 
^ title of arch-carver or steward^ a^d consequently he commanded 


the first voice in the electoral college of the temporal prinoefl. Bi- 
varia contested with Bohemia for the ofBce of arcn cup-hearer, whidi 
Henry the Lion, or his fitther, who possessed two duchies, had been 
forced to abandon, and which it subsequentljr lost for ever. 

Those arch or grand offices fell graduallj into the hands of those 
who possessed the right of election, after the original institutioii, 
which called together the principal heads of the people throughout 
the empire to take part in the meetings, had become altered. ' At 
the election of Otho I., there were present five of the principel 
nations: the Lorrainers, the Franks, the Swabians, the Bavarians, 
and the Saxons. When Otho of Saxony was elected, the dukes of 
the other four nations divided among themsdves the offices of aich* 
chamberlain, arch-carver or steward, arch-cupbearer, and arch-msr- 
shal. At the subsequent election of Otho ILL., however^ the distn- 
bution of the offices had already become changed. 

At the election of Conrad 11. there appeared seven nations, because 
Lorraine was then divided in two portions, and Carinthia had likewise 
recently joined the rest. But at tne election of Lothaire, the Saxons, 
the Lorrainers, and Carinthians, no longer attended, as the former 
had detached themselves from the empire, and the latter remained 
but a short time allied with the other chief nations. Jn earlier 
times the dukes did not possess this exclusive and positive light of 
election. All the princes, even the populace itself, took part m the 
choice of the sovereign; but subsequently in proportion as the eleo 
tion assumed a more determined form, the elective right became 
more and more connected with the arch-offices, and was even trans* 
ferred altogether with those dimities to other princes. 

Thus Conrad IQ. indemnifi^ the margrave, Albert the Bear, for the 
loss of the duchy of Saxony, by giving up in his favour the office of 
arch-chamberlain, which he helcTas a Hohenstaufen; whilst, on the 
other hand, the Hohenstaufens received the dignity of aich-oarrer or 
steward, when the remains of the duchy of Franconia passed over to 
their house. This office was then attached to the palatinate of the 
Rhine; and as, in ancient times, the Duke of Franconia held the 
first rank among the temporal princes, so now, among the latter, the 
count palatine commanded the first voice. 

We have already found that the office of grand cup-bearer was 
transferred from the Guelfs to the house of Bohemia; but with 
respect to that of grand marshal, it always remained with the Saxons. 
The right of Bohemia to a voice in the elections was a subject of 
long contest, inasmuch as the Germans would not admit the right of 
election to a Slavonic prince; and it was on this account that, at the 
period in question, the college of princes only possessed six votes: 
three ecclesiastical, consisting of those of the Arcnbishops of Mentz, 
Treves, and Cologne, who, protected by the influence of the pope, 
were thus enabled to raise themselves to the highest rank in the em- 

Sire; and three temporal voteS| those of the Dules of Saxony, Bran- 
enburg, and of. the Palatinate» 


3. In Swahia, we have seen that, at the iail of the HohenstaufenSi 
all their rights disappeared; their rich possessions had, in the later 
period, 'been wasted or given away; and Conradin, at the time of 
his expedition to Italy, made over his remaining possessions to the 
house of Bavaria. We therefore naturally inquire who then, fifom 
that time, really ranked as the most important and influential family 
in Swabia? In answer to this, we find that the Counts of WUrtem- 
berg stood at the head of all the rest of the nobility, and who had 
alieiidy chosen Stuttgard as their place of residence. After them, 
the rich Counts of Baden, scions of the Hohenstaufen race, ac- 
quiied from the house of Zahringen the territory of Breisgau, 
which was the commencement of the reign of the house of Baden. 
Another portion of the ZHhringen inheritance, in Switzerland, fell 
to the Counts of Eyburg, and after them to the Counts of Haps- 
bu]^, who owed to this circumstance their subsequent importance. 
Of the Counts of HohenzoUem, the Burgraves ot Nuremberg, we 
have ^ken previously. 

4. In Franconia, the duchy had already become extinct when the 
succession of the Salic house terminateci. It had been divided 
equally between the ecclesiastical and temporal nobles; for the Ho- 
henstaufens, who were called dukes of Franconia, possessed nothing 
of the authority of the ancient dukes; enjoying merely, as they 
were the most powerful lords of Franconia, and proprietors of the 
coontj-palatinate, a small portion of the ducal influence, and which 
was recognised by a few of those counts and knights who were de- 
pendent on them as feudatories. At the end of uiis period, besides 
the powerful coimts palatine of the Rhine, we find m the ancient 
l«id of Franconia the landgraves of Hesse, who possessed a portion 
thereof, the Counts of Nassau, the Bishop of Wurzburg, &c. 

lie general title of coimt palatine gradually vanished m Germany, 
leaving it only in the hands of the count palatine of the Rhine, 
whilst, on the other hand, the title of burgrave now came into use, 
^d took rank immediately after that of the king. 

5. Finafly, with respect to Lorraine, it became divided into two 
portions: Upper Lorraine falling to the Coimts of Alsace, and Lower 
Lorraine to tne Counts of Lovain. They, however, did not possess 
the whole of Lorraine, and for this reason they were likewise styled 
Counts of Brabant. Several other counts — of Holland, Zealand, 
Weshmd, Juliers, Cleves, Guelder, Luxemburg, &c., ranked them- 
selves as immediate imperial feudatories. 

All the princes began now to consider themselves as feudatories, 
not only of the country of which they merely had the administra- 
^on, but likewise of their hereditary lands, wmch they governed in 
^ own name. Vassalage now received another meanmg; it was 
^ longer for their possessions, but their dimities, that the princes 
cow held themselves bound to pay homage by the investiture; and 
as they had already raised themselves to the height of territorial 
power and sovereignty throughout their country — wthough they did 


not take to themaelyeB the title — all the sovereign piinoes in ihe 
land became feudatories. 

We will now proceed to give a sketch of the entire states exist- 
ing in the empire, although we cannot pretend to present an exact 
detail thereof, on account of the confusion so prevalent in some of 
the dependencies. 

Gennany included, at this period, six archbishoprics; that of 
Mentz Tthe most considerable and extensive) having under its 
jurisdiction fourteen bishoprics, viz. : Worms, Spires, Strasbum, Con- 
stance, Cour, Augsburg, Eichstadt, Wiirtzburg, Olmiitz, Piagoe, 
Halberstadt, Hildesheim, Paderbom, and Yerden; that of Colc^e 
with five bishoprics: Li^ge, Utrecht, Miinster, Oaiaburg, and Mjh- 
den; that of Treves with three bishoprics: Mentz, Tom, and Ver- 
dun; that of Magdeburg with five bisnoprics: Brandenburg, Havel- 
berg, Naumburg, Merseburg, and Meissen; that of Bremen with 
three bishoprics: Oldenburg (afterwards Lubeck), Me<^enbuTg 
(afterwards Schwerin), and Ratzbuig; and, finally, that of Salz- 
burg with five bishoprics: Ratisbon, Fassau, Freisingen, Brixen, and 
GxiTK. Besides which are to be added: Bamberg, which stood im- 
mediatelj under the pope, and Cambrai under the Archbishop of 
Rheims. Altogether, therefore, thev amounted to six archbishop- 
rics and thirty-seven bishoprics. There existed, besides, seventy 
prelates, abbots and abbesses, and three reli^ous orders, thus forming, 
m the whole, more than a hundred ecclesiastical states. 

The temporal estates were, viz. : four electors (if we include Bo- 
hemia), consbting of one king, one duke, one count palatine, and 
one margrave; six grand dukes: Bavaria, Austria, Garinthia, Bruns- 
wick, Lorraine, and Brabant-Limburg; about thirty counts witK 
the title of prince, amongst whom some had also the title of duke« 
others of margrave, landgrave, and burgrave; about sixty impeiial 
cities, of whom some, however, did not enjoy entirely the privileges 
of the imperial municipalities. Thus, altogether, these formed about 
a hundred temporal states; and, finally, both classes embraced mote 
than two hundred members of the empire, spiritual and temporal 

Meantime, the dominion of the empire lutd, in certain respects, 
diminished in extent of government towards the end of the mter- 
regnum, inasmuch as it no longer held under its sway either Den- 
mark, Hungary, or Poland ; whilst JBurgundy and Lombardy had 
both withdrawn themselves from the imperial rule, Prussia alone 
having joined in alliance. 

We will now avail ourselves of this short interval, and cursorily 
review the chief features presented in the Middle Ages, which imme- 
diately succeed this period of the interregnum; for every thing that 
has been said, whether favourable or unfavourable upon the cha- 
racter of this barbarous and yet glorious epoch, is especially appro- 
priate at the present moment. 




ChiTalTf— The aties— The Peasaiitiy--The Arte and Sdemset— The Clergy and 
Ecderitttkal Inatitationa— -The Monasteries and GonTents-^The Faust-Becht— 
The Administration of Justice— The Vehm-Qoricht or Secret Tribunal 

The period of the Middle Ages has also been called the period of 
Chivalry, and it was knighthood indeed which chiefly gave to it its 
great and pecnliar lustre. By the diffiision of the feudal Bjstem 
over the whole of Gennany, as has already been shown, the nobility 
became the influential portion of the empire, to the extent that, be- 
yond the cities, few common freemen were to be found. War was 
conducted principally by the nobles and their vassals. The former 
fought only on horseback, were equipped in heavy iron armour, and 
were so exercised in the exercise of arms from youth upwards, that 
they could not onlvbear them with ease, but were enabled to use them 
fredy and powerrally. A man thus encased in armour and arms, on 
horseback, was infinitely superior to the common warriors, who 
served on foot, and who were badly armed, and thence an army was 
speedily counted solely by the multitude of its knights. In order to 
maintam these privileges, the education of the nobility was neces- 
sarUy oitirely warlike. An ancient writer says — " The boys bom 
in Gennany, in their quality as pages, prefer learning to ride rather 
than to read; their horses may run and gallop as they please, still 
they remain immoveably fixed in the saddle. They carry after their 
lords their long lances; and inured to cold and h^t, they are not to 
be &tlgued by any toilsome exercise. The bearing of arms is as 
easy to the Germans as carrying iheir own limbs, and it is sur- 
prisi]^, and almost incredible, how skilM they are in governing 
their horses, using their bows and arrows, and wielding the lance, 
shield, and sword/' 

By their exclusive attention to the improvement of their corporeal 
stiei^gthy whilst the intellectual occupations which, in later centuries, 
b^an to be treated as the chief portion of education, were then en- 
tirely unknown, this generation must have sank into a state of com- 
plete barbarism, had not the happy nature and noble capacities of 
the German races, and the development of the grand institutions of 
chivahy, have produced a preponderating power by their beneficial 
effects. But in order to comprehend the details, it is necessary we 
dumld know more exactly the institutions of the middle a^es. 

These various grades of condition and rank were particularly dis- 
^ngnished by the changes introduced in military service from the time 
of Henry I.; for from that period the cavalry department especially 
^nulerwent such reforms that, in the course of a short time, it came 
ezcbsively into the hands of the nobility and their own vassals, to 


the extent tliat the honour of this warlike arm of the service be- 
longed to them alone. It was made to form two divisions or classy, 
the tSemper-freien, 01 available freemen (always free), and iheJIdUtd- 
freienj or mediate freemen. The former, who, in ancient times, con- 
sisted merely of the nobility, and were c^ed inffenm in the codes of 
law, were the immediate nobility, which, after the dismemberment 
of the early duchies, retained tneir independence of every {»ince, 
and were only subjected to the empire. Of this class, the high dezgy 
formed part, with this exception, however, that the nobilily ac- 
quired by birth what the former received by their oflSce. 

The second class was composed of mediate freemen; fiistly» of 
those freemen who were originally bound by their possessions to 
do service as cavaliers, but who could not dis^ga^ themselves from 
the authority of the princes, and were forced to follow them to the 
wars; and secondly, of those who were employed by the higher 
nobility of the empire, and who served as cavaUeis under uieir 
orders with the title of militea minores. These mediate freemen veiy 
soon advanced their claims to titles of nobility, especially after Con- 
rad II. had been the means of raising them to higher importance and 
consideration by making the lowest fie& hereditary. Thus was 
created by degrees a higher and lower class of nobiHty. 

But for both these grades it was strictly necessary that the descent 
of families should be firom parents of equal rank; and in case of un- 
equal unions, the children were forced to remain in the inferior con- 
dition of the one or the other parent. 

The king, however, always retained the right of power to elevate 
any subject from this lower grade to the rank of a nobleman. 

Thence the nobility formed two distinct classes from tlie moment 
that the art of war became whollv baaed upon its cavalry service; 
and it was in this sense that knighthood al^^y existed under the 
Saxon and Salian emperors. But it was not until the twelfth cen- 
tury that it formed itself into one especial institution, which served 
as a connecting link between the higher and lesser nobility, inas- 
much as it thus brought into union by military and religious vows, 
and under es{)ecial discipline, tmUtam ardo^ both the Semper-fineie 
and Mittel-freie. The Crusades had the most important influenoe and 
shed the greatest lustre upon chivalry, for it was in the sacred service 
of God and the Saviour that the swords of the knights obtained for 
them the greatest glory on earth. The goal which was to be at- 
tained lay far distant from home, and in other climes; the imagina- 
tion became more enthusiastically excited, and the descriptions g;iven 
by such as had returned from those eastern countries were perfectly 
adapted to heighten and render still more vivid the glowing colours 
of the picture their heated fancy had already formed. Thence this 
period was inspired by such daring and fanatic enthusiasm, that no 
enterprise was deemed too difficult to undertake, and such heroic 
deeds were actually achieved, that in modem times they have been 
regarded almost ii^ the light of fabulotpT creations of the mind. 


Huee leligious crdGis of knighthood, which owed their origin ex- 
duffiYelj to the Crusades, served especially to attach the warriors to 
the cause of Christianity by a sacred and solemn vow. The first of 
these was the order of the Templar-Knights, which originally only 
condsted of a small body of French cavahers, for the purpose of pro- 
tectiiig the pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land; they took 
the tluree religious vows: obedience, poverty, and chastity, adding a 
fourth, which was altogether military, viz. : to protect travellers, 
straios publieas custodire, Baldwin IX., King of Jerusalem, granted 
them as quarters a portion of his palace, next to the temple of Solo- 
mon; and it is from this circumstance that they adopted the title 
of Tonplars. Two years afterwards originated the order of the 
Knights of the Hospital, who devoted themselves to the chaige of 
the sick pilgrims, subsequently adopting the name of St. John, 
from their tatekiy saint, John the Baptist; their vows were exdu- 
avdy religious. To these followed shortly after the order of the 
Teutonic knights. 

These examples operated with a very great effect upon the con- 
tinent; and as the entire ^irit of the times produced a closer imion 
between individuals of equal habits and condition, the result was 
that chivalry in the middle of the twelfth century became more and 
moie extended and formed one grand body of alliance, to which ac- 
cess could onl^ be obtained after passing through certain ordeals in 
which the religious vows of chastity and poverty were, however, ex- 
empted, but religious consecration was retained. 

Thus the entire education of the nobility connected itself with 
the sole object of attaining knighthood by passing through all its 
various gradations. As soon as the boy had escaped from its ma- 
ternal guide, he was transferred to the charge of some esteemed 
fauffht and friend, whom he served as page ; and, subsequently, after 
he had become versed in arms, and received his sword, he at- 
tended him as his esquire (famulus, armiger]), regarding him as the 
model of his future lue. He accompanied his lord at all hours, and 
in eveiy occupation. In the pleasures of the chace, the festival, the 
tournament, and military jousts, as well as in the dangers of the 
hattle. His first duty was the most faithful attachment to and vi- 
gilant care of his lord; and if, in the heat of the battle, he had de- 
fended him with sword and shield, and had saved his life, he thence 
aequired the highest degree of fame that could be earned by a yoime 
nobloaan. Thus fidelity was the first virtue which, by hourly and 
ialj exercise, became so deeply impressed upon the memorjr of the 
youth, that it grew up in indissoluble connexion with his mind. 
After several years of honourable service as a squire, the youth (gene- 
Ktll^ in has twenty-first year) was made a knight, and received into 
xnihtaiy ccmipanionship under the consecration of religion. Solemn 
occasions: grand festivals, coronation days, and sucn scenes, were 
diligently sought for the purpose, and firequently xnany were dubbed 
bights at the same time, fasting and prayer preceded, and after 


the youth had partaken of the sacrament he leoeiTed ficom tlie 
hands of a knight, or noble lady, the spurs, breast-plate, and 

fauntlets. He then knelt down, and one of the knights (often 
owever, the reigning king or prince) cave him, with a naked 
sword, three gentle blows across the snoulder, upon which be 
▼owed, with a solemn oath, to faithfully fulfil all the duties of an 
honourable knight, to speak the truth, to defend the laws, and to 
draw his sword for the aefence of religion, of widows and oiphans, 
and of persecuted innocence, but, above all, against eveiy unbeueT^; 
finally he received the helmet, shield, lance, and sword. Thus, in 
the most inspired hour of the youth's early career, the practice of 
manly virtues: truth, justice, and religion was again, by a solemn 
oath, elevated to become the inviolable law of his whole life. Honour 
stood before the eyes of the youthful kni|^ht like a brilliant star— -an 
emblem to which he was to remain faithful to his last breath — as the 
noble object of, and, at the same time the reward for the due ob- 
servance of the oath he took. So highly was this solemn consecra- 
tion of the noble warrior esteemed, that Count William of Holland, 
as we have already seen in his history, was necessarily made a knigbt 
before his coronation. 

The prerogative of the knight was to belong henceforward to a 
select body of his equals, which none could join but by the espeasl 
reception he himself had experienced, and to be enabled to confer 
knighthood himself; as also to take his share in the tournaments, 
which in the twelfth century were introduced from France into 
Germany. These had the most important influence on the educa- 
tion of the nobility ; for as none could take part in them whose 
honour had suffered the least stain, and the whole imagination of 
the boy and youth was from earliest infancy devoted to the gloiv 
and high reputation these contests conferred, chivalry thenceforth 
became the school of honour and morality, as well as of every 
other heroic virtue. Thence this period presents us with the most 
complete and undeniable evidence of the principle: that in order to 
disseminate a love for virtue in a generation, it is not enough to try 
to promote it by instruction, but it is likewise necessary to en- 
couri^e and give an impulse to the practice thereof by the inesist- 
able K>Tce of example. 

Such is the light in which the design and object of chivalry must 

{>resent itself before us in the most flourishing period of its existence; 
or although a system may not be carried out so completely as to 
render it possible to say, that it is in every respect perfect, and, conse- 
quently, although in the most happy times of cnivalry, much bar- 
barism and uncouth violence too onen appeared, still it cannot be 
denied that it laid the foundation for that elevation of thought which 
eventually, in a moral point of view, exercised its influence upon the 
community at large. 

The noble institution of chivalry was, in fact, of the highest im- 
portance in its results to the whole of the Christian nations, inas- 


much as even when the imperial dignity lost its powerful influence, 
and tke authority of the church began to totter on its base, the prin- 
ciples of honour and rectitude, together with the irresistible force 
commanded by the manly, chivahic word, in all cases of need and 
saccour, operated so beneficially upon all classes, that this grand 
and illustrious foundation of knighthood served as a tower of stren^h, 
impregnable against all subsequent attacks attempted by imcivihsed 
and barbarous assailants. 

Whilst the aristocracy of the German nation thus vigorously 
cultivated itself, and wore the sword equally for the honour of 
their fidth and defence of their country, the citizens in the towns 
laboured with industry and activity for their commercial pros- 
perity. The German cities during this period daily increased in 
po|Ni]ation and riches, and the source of all was commerce, for 
which also the crusades operated very advantageously. The spirit 
for great undertakings and speculations was aroused, the costly wares 
of southern countries were Drought more frequently and in greater 
abundance to Europe. The Italian maritime cities, particularly 
Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, introduced the merchandise of the east, 
and then it was conVeyed the same as the produce of Italy itself 
along the ancient commercial roads, through the passes of the Alps 
to Gennany, there extending its transit upon the hish roads and 
rivers, and what was not consumed in the country itself was carried 
still further towards the territories bordering upon the North Sea 
and the Baltic. All that was brought to the normem countries from 
across the ocean was forwarded through Germany, and by means of 
this extensive commercial agency, to which was added the produce 
of native German industry, the ancient cities of the empire pro- 
gressed and flourished in all iheir wealth and prosperity. Augsburg, 
Stiasburg, Ratisbon, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Worms, Spires, and 
Mentz, in the south of Germany; in the north, Cologne, Erfurt, 
Brunswick, Luneburff, Hamburg, Bremen, and Liibeck, and many 
others proudly raised and extended their walls and towers, and an 
increasing ana active, but equally industrious population, animated 
their streets. Their riches soon gave them the means to purchase 
their freedom and independence &om the princes who held them in 
dominion, for as in those ancient times, when but few or no regular 
imposts were levied, the privileges of those princes and lords were not 
60 productive as now, no large sum was required to obtain this eman- 
cipation. The cities then acknowledged the em^ror alone as their 
Eupeiior feudal lord, and thence were called free imperial cities. 

This progress, however, was only made by degrees, and was not 
everywhere attended with the same favourable results. The first 
step was made in the tenth century, when Henry I. encouraged the 
foundation and extenaon of cities, and improved their internal con- 
dition in eastern Germany, and when af^rwards the episcopal cities 
in the south and western parts of the country, according to the 
ancient Boman cities, were raised to a state of immunity, and the 



authority of the count was substituted by that of the episcopal in- 
tendant, or adoocatus casae. After their example, a number of 
other cities receiyed also imperial goyemore, ana were thus freed 
fiK>m the jurisdiction of the count. 

Subsequently the cities advanced still fiiriherY and sought to elevate 
themselyes from iheir state of immunity, in order to become Qieii oyn 
govemois; for the intendants, replacmg the counts in their quality 
as judges, selected their assessors from the municipal councQ, ^o, 
previous to the twelfth century, were called ctbes, in its more dis- 
tinguished acceptation, and later, in imitation of the Lomlwrdifln 
cities, they were styled cansukt or councillors; and their preadent^ 
proconsul or magigter consolum, burgomaster. Those &mUies 
amongst whom the councillors were usimlly chosen, formed a civic 
or urban nobility, and were called patrician £unilies. As this ooim- 
cil was entrusted with the administralion of the commercial pioperty 
and the magisterial authority of the city, it is easy to conoeiye what 
increasing influence it must have had at its command, and how it must 
have extended its power in the administration of affairs hejcmij 
as well as within the city, and the burgomaster, consequentlj, 
in the course of time, left Uttle or nothing for the intendant to per- 
form. In fact, this latter functionary in the end had reason to con- 
gratulate himself if he was only allowed to retain the administcadon 
of justice; and, even then, means were not waatin^ on the part of 
the council to arrogate tlus department to themselyes when tliej 
found it favourable for their object to do so. 

But the authority did not rest exclusively in the hands of the 
council ; the various guilds and trade associations had also their share 
in the government Their influence derived strength from the 
increasing activity among the industrial and working classes, and 
consequent prosperity in trade; and thence their claims to a portion 
of power they enjoyed were based upon the interest they took and 
shared individually and among themselves in the municipal insdtu- 
tions. The extent to which they gradually succeeded in establishing 
thdur united dominion is made evident by their generally triumphant 
contests with the patrician families in many of the cities. 

I£ commerce and gain had alone been the objects of the inhabit- 
ants of the cities, they would soon have become subject to all those 
evils which necessarily arise when the mind of man becomes wholly 
occupied and absorbed in his mercenary pursuits; the citizens would 
have been rendered timid and cowardly, and would have sacrificed 
both their liberty and pride in their efiorts after worldly possessions. 
But in those times, when the Faustrecht or club-law existed in all 
its violence, they found opposed to them the entire nobility of the 
empire: princes, counts, and knights, as well as bishops and abbots, 
who, jealous of the riches of the cities, closely observed their deeds 
and acts, and waited only for an opportunity to overtom and de- 
stroy their freedom. 

If the cities, therefore, desired to submit no longer to these power- 



ful enemies, they found they must necessarily bear arms themselves, 
and preserve inviolate in their breasts that manly coinage which is 
the smeld of freedom. In an ancient chronicle we find the follow- 
ing aocomit of the Nuremberg patricians: '^ The furniture of their 
hooses consists chiefly of gold and silver, but amidst all that meets 
the eye nothing is more conspicuous than their swords, armour, bat- 
tle axes, and horses, which they particularly display as the chief 
signs of thdx nobility and the ancient rank of their families. But 
the simple citizen also keeps his arms ready and in good order in his 
house, so that on the first movement he mav appear fuUy equipped 
immediately at the appointed place of assembly. The whole of the 
internal i^ulations of the city had war in view; the citizens were 
dirided into companies accordmg to their trade and dwelling-place; 
and when the city was in danger each of the different bodies assem- 
bled in its appointed quarter, and imder its particular banner, and 
thus all marcned forth together, and fought united in battle. This was 
a beautifiil union, firmlybound by waruke and peaceful occupations, 
snd the rivaliy and emuJalion evinced by all in valour have frequently 
obtained the victory for cities in time of danger. The citizens col- 
lectively did not lose their time in a love for petty things and trifles, 
nor in the efifeminacy of a sedentaiy life in the close rooms of their 
houses, but they were both in body and soul good men and true, as 
' well as independent. And, notwithstanding their riches, notwith- 
standing their extiaordinaiy expenditure upon great festivals, which 
honour demanded in those more ancient and better times, their 
daily ordinary life was very simple and temperate, and not sophis- 
ticated by artificial wants. Thence their bodies remained strong, 
and their prosperity lasting; for the source and guarantee of prospe- 
lity do not so much consist in rich acquisitions as in that moderation 
which knows how to preserve them. " That the Germans are rich," 
fays MachiaveUi, in nis treatise, Bitratti della Alamaana^ '' arises 
&om their living as if ihej were poor. It sufiSces for them to have 
a superfluity in Dread and meat, and a room, whither they may re- 
treat firom the cold. Thus little or no money quits their country; on 
the contrary far more comes into the land in payment for the wares 
they manufacture themselves. The power of Germany is based upon 
itB cities; they are the nerves of the provinces, for in them there 
exists both wealth and good order." 

At this glorious period of the municipal institutions, many (rerman 
Oties united together for the protection of their freedom, their inde- 
:{)endance, and their commerce generally. Thus, in theyearl254, seventy 
cities in the south of Grermany formed the Rhenish league, for of- 
Ifence and defence, and pow^uUy opposed themselves to the en- 
fCToachments and pretentions of the nobility. Aflerwards arose the 
'(^^bian cities'-union, which was also very numerous and strong. 

!But the most powerful confederation among all was that of the 
Hanse towns. .Already early in the middle ages, the trading cities 
cf Qennany had formed alliances in the large commercial towns of 



other countries, and there established warehouses and factoiies. 
These &ctories bore the name of Hanse, probably from the word 
Hansa, which signifies trade imposts (confounded subsequently wit]i 
the Italian word .^n^aria), and as several such houses were united 
in foreign cities, there consequently arose a general Hanse, which 
was termed German Hanse. Very early we find in London, Ger- 
man Hanses from Cologne, Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen, and other 
cities, and, perhaps, their union was a chief caiise for the establishment 
of the whole alliance. In the history of its formation also it is im- 
portant to notice the league which in 1241 the cities of Lubeck and 
Hamburg concluded together, and which is commonly but incorrectly 
considered as the first commencement of the whole confederation. 
It was agreed that both cities should prepare ships and supply troops 
to protect from all robbery the highway between the Trave and the 
Elbe, and the rivers themselves, down which both sent their merchan- 
dise to the sea. Several northern cities soon Joined this alliance; about 
the year 1300 it numbered already sixty cities from the Lower Rhine 
as far as Prussia and Livonia ; later it included as many as a himdred, 
and in the middle of the fourteenth century we find tne name Hansa 
universally distributed. In Germany there belonged to it, besides 
Liibeck and Hamburg: Bremen, Stade, Kiel, Wismar, Rostock, 
Stralsund, Greifswalde, Stettin, Colberg, Stargard, Sakwedel, 
Magdeburg, Brunswick, Hildesheim, Hanover, Liineburg, Osna- 
burg, Miinster, Coesfeld, Dortmund, Soest, Wesel, Duisbuig, Co- 
logne, and many others besides; and out of Germany: Thorn, Dant- 
ziff, Konigsberg, Riga, Reval, Narva, Whisby, Stockholm, &c. 
Tney wholly monopoused the trade in the Baltic, and chiefly that 
in the North Sea, and had four ^rand depots : at Novogorod in Rus- 
sia, Bergen in Norway, Bruges m Flanders, and in London. 

The establishment of these emporia called forth the greatest pos- 
sible development in trade, and produced the most glorious results 
in commercial intercourse. From the northern regions they shipped 
timber for building vessels, flax, hemp, tar, fiirs, and smoked and 
dried fish, the consumption of which was extremely great on account 
of the rigorous observance of the periods for fasting practised by the 
catholics ; and they maintained the herring fishery exdusivelj in 
their own hands. From England they procured raw wool and 
cloths, which they had dyed and prepared m Germany. Bruges at 
this epoch was one of the most important of the commercial cities, 
and formed a depot for the merchandise of Asia, Italy, and Western 
Europe, which the Hanseatic towns conveyed thence to the north 
of Europe: spices of every sort, silks, gold and silver wares, fiuil^ 
&c. This trsmic exercised, likewise, the most happy influence upor 
the sale of the produce of Germany: linen, cloth, metal wares, cor 
flower, beer, Khenish wine, and woad, (so much sought for befo 
the introduction of indigo, and much planted in Germany,) ai^ 
many other articles which, by means of the Hanse foipid a market i 
foreign countries. It is, therefore, not surprising that when uni^ ~ 


its strength the confederation was richer and more poweiful than the 

northern kingdoms. It was enabled to collect together whole fleets 
and armies whenever it chose, even if only a portion of the cities 
united, and its friendship was universally songnt. It forced King 
Philip IV. of France to forbid the English aU traffic on his coast, 
and obliged England to purchase peace for 10,000/. sterhng. It 
conquered, in 1369, even Copenhagen and Helsengoer, command- 
ing the mouth of the Sound, and onered the kingdom of Denmark 
for sale; to such an extent did it hold the northern kingdoms gene- 
rally in its dependence, and the city of Lubeck might well be proud 
of being the head of such an alliance. It was divided into four 
classes: 1. The Wendish, of which Lubeck was particularly the 
head ; 2. The Westphalian, with Colore at its nead ^Cologne 
emulated Lubeck for precedency; it earned on an extensive com- 
merce by sea, and founded m London a celebrated German 
factory; its maritime conunerce, however, fell when Dortrecht 
received its oppressive staple-right) ; 3. The Saxon, of which Bruns- 
wick was the head; and 4. The Prussian and Livonian, with Dant- 
zig at the head. 

Many records testify how extensive and populous the cities were 
precise^ at a time when violence through the Faustrecht ra^ed 
most wildly. In the fourteenth century, for instance, Aix-la-Cha- 
pcUe had 19,826 men who could bear arms, and Strasburg 20,000 
more; Nuremberg 52,000 citizens; and increased annually by 4000 
male bom children. Upon a revolt of the citizens of Lubeck, the 
council alone armed 5000 merchants and their servants. And be- 
sides these and other large places Germany was covered with a mul- 
titude of towns of middfing size, which likewise flourished in trade 
and population, but which now retain only the shadow of their 
former importance; as, for instance, the many imperial cities in 

^eas Sylvius, (afterward Pius n.,") in the fifteenth century, speaks 
with great admiration of the riches of me German cities, although even 
then their splendour began to sink: '* The kinss of Scotiand might 
envy/'he^says, " the state of the meaner citizens of Nuremberg. Where 
if there a tavern among you where you do not drink out of silver? 
What married woman, I will not say of rank, but the wife of merely 
a simple citizen, do we not find decorated with gold? What shall 1 
ay ot the neckdiains of the men, and the bridles of the horses, which 
are made of the purest gold, and of tiie spurs and scabbards, which 
are covered with jewels r* 

The source of such especial riches in precious metals, po^essed 
W Germany, originated not only in the commerce, but also in the 
recently discovered mines of the country. In the year 1477, for 
instance, when Duke Albert of Saxony, dined in the mine of 
Schnecbei^, in the Hartz moimtains, the viands were laid out upon 
a solid block of silver, whence afterwards 400 quintals of sLlver 
vere produced. 

The flourishing state and increaring power of the German cities 


was also a chief motive for the peasantry to leoover their fieedom; 
for the inhabitants also of the hiral distncts who, under the oppreB- 
sion of skyeij, were obliged to cultivate their own land, as seris, 
for a master, at the view of the flourishing free cities w^ie aiou&ei 
to the love of liberty and independence, and when this deaire is once 
properly re-awoke in an enslaved people, it rests no more until it bas 
cast its oppressive and degrading biurden from its shoulders. Not 
that the gradual rise of the rural population is to be attributed to one 
source only, but, on the contrary, as in this case, it must be a con- 
sequence of the collective working of many causes, which here ea^ 
lier, there later, supplied an individual, a fiunily, or a whole oomma- 
xuty with freedom and possession of the soil. Li this view also tbe 
crusades now produced the most important and beneficial results. 

By command of the pope, every serf who took the cross to pro- 
ceed into the Holy Land was obliged to be made free by his lord, and 
thousands of them proceeded thither and became free accordingly. 
In other cases the lord, previous to setting out upon the crosade, 
animated by pious zeal, gave his serfs their freedom at once, orper- 
haps he did not return at all; and if he had no heirs, many of his 
feudal servitors, in the consequent dispute for the inheritance, &ith&I 
until then, now made themselves free. This method of disfranchise- 
ment was the more easily put into effect when they belonged to a 
noble, and if they dwelt near large cities. For they put themsdTes 
imder the protection of the latter, and continued to live within their 
walls or remained upon their own inheritance, and were called then, 
Pfahlbiirger or suburban citizens, and in case their lord sought to 
force them to return to his service, it became the affair of the power- 
ful cit^ itself, and even of the entire league to which it belonged. 

It IS not to be denied, that under such circumstances many cities 
in their municipal arrogance were imjust towards their noble neigh- 
bours, inasmuch as they, without having one justifying cause, xeceived 
and harboured their subjects in opposition to him; but what incited 
them chiefly to do this was the recollection of the injustice which these 
lords or their predecessors had done to them, — ^for injustice provokes 
injustice— or they were perhaps at 9pen variance with them, and they 
thoughtthey were justified in injuring them in everyway. Whennow 
the nobles saw themselves in danger of thus loang all their subjects, 
one after the other, if they persisted in retaining them in their service 
by force, tiiey preferred emancipating them themselves, under certain 
conditions, for lighter services and a fixed yearly impost. Finally, 
many from a kindliness of disposition, and influenced by the en» 
lightenment of the period, may possibly have seen that it was more 
honourable as well as more lucrative, to cause their land to be cul- 
tivated by free labourers,^ who in the feeling that they were toil- 
img for themselves and their descendants, now devoted all their 
powers of mind and body to that occupation which formerly as slaves 
they were forced to be driven to perform. 

It was in this manner, particularly at the period of which we now 
speak, that by a hundred different causes, a basb waa laid in Ger- 


many for the establishment of the importacnt class of common fiee 
peaaantiy, which by degrees became the fundamental stzength of 
the more modem states of Europe 

When man is raised to a certain d^ree of prosperity in which his 
mind is no longer absorbed in aoquirmg the more inmiediate and 

SresBiiig means to salasfy the necessary cares and wants of life, he 
^en applies and devotes the powers of nis genius towards producing 
the beauti&l and grand — ^to that, the creation of which must shed 
o'er hia whole life and memory, an enduring halo of glory and ho- 
iioar— and accordingly all those gifts of intellectual greatness are 
pHHnoted by their cultivation and enjoy the free independent action 
they demand. * Thence the cities wi^ their increasing riches neces- 
samy became the cradle of German art and science; to which the 
exGitement of the imagination, and the impulse which the crusades 
produced in all minds, contributed not a little. Ideas both novel 
and of vast and extraordinary character spread over the world, ele- 
vated the powers of the mind beyond the ordinary condition of Ufe, 
and filled it with images which it found itself excited to represent and 
embody in beautiful productions of art. If we had no other evidence 
of the splendour of the middle ages than that displayed in the works 
of art of aU kinds which that period has handed down to us, we 
should even then have ample proof wherewith to refute those opi- 
nioDB whidi, vrithout any mooificalaon, pronounce that epoch to 
Lave been dark, barbarous and miserable. A period of ignorance 
and calanuty could not have produced such sublime works as the 
ininfiterB of Stxasbur^, Vienna, and TJlm, together with the cathe- 
diab of Cologne, A^gdeburg, Spires, Freiburg, aiid so many other 
churches in the cities of Germany and the Low Countries. For 
art flourishes solely in the Hght of freedom and in the genial warmth 
of prosDerity and human happiness. 

We nave bere taken our examples &om architecture^ because there 
is scarcely any other art which uke this so peculiarly expresses the 
genuine Grerman genius. What we call gothic architecture, — and 
which would be better expressed with the general name of the na^- 
tion, Teutonic architecture — is a combination of the greatest bold- 
fifis and sublimity of idea, produced by religious inspiration and deep 
natural feding, with the most admirable industry and perfection in 
the execution of the detail. In the contemplation of those wonderful 
s^ctures, our heart swells and the breast e:q)ands with reverential 
aive and emotian; we become coinpletely lost, and forget ourselves 
in the presence of so much grandeur, whilst we feel as we con- 
tinue ffaang as if with those bold ideas our mind was conveyed 
if^aras towards heaven, leaving its earthly infirmities behind it — 
^ 18 precisely the expression which characterises the trulj sub- 
Gme and grand in all the creations of nature, as also m the 
wotb of man. And when the eye, after it has recovered fix>m 
this first and overpowering impression of the whole, contemplates 
^ detail, it observes that there is scarcely a solitary stone through- 
out the gigantic edifice which is introduced in its rough state. 


but each bears some artistical labour which makes it share in 
the embellishment of the whole. Thus, it might be almost said 
that, as in the works of the wide creation itself, there is not a blade 
of grass but possesses its own peculiar beauty and ornament, and 
this blade with its miUions of semblant companions combined with 
the trees, rocks, and lakes present a rich and magnificent picture 
of nature — so, likewise these works of German industry and art, 
faithful in the detail, and sublime in the idea of the whole, are in 
this union of both, objects surpassed by no other nation. We will 
only remark of the Minster of Strasburg, that it has the loftiest 
tower in Europe, being 594 feet high. JBishop Werner began to 
lay the foundation of the church in 1015, but it was not completed 
imtil 1275. After which the eminent architect, Erwin of Stein- 
bach, sketched the plan of the tower in 1277; this was begun and 
completed in 1439 oy John Hulz, of Cologne, so that 424 years 
were consumed in the entire construction. Of the Cathedral of Co- 
logne, which in its design, commenced by Archbishop Conrad, of 
Hochstedt, in 1248, is still more noble, not even the church it^lf, 
not to name its tower, has been completed although its construction 
has lasted 250 years. But we shall not wonder at this when we con- 
sider the thousands of images which are carved in the stone.* 

It tends to the eternal fame of our nation and of those times that 
the industiy, patience, and outlay of capital so necessary for the con- 
struction of such works were not spared, while later generations have 
but too often wasted their powers upon undertakings which have left 
no trace behind. 

In order to comprehend the origin and, especially^ the successful 
execution of those miracles of architecture, according to one great 
plan^ we must remark that it was not individual architects, who, 
with sometimes good, sometimes bad workmen, as in our times, 
undertook such works, but they were accomplished by an association 
of masons, distributed over the whole of Germany, and, indeed, 
over the whole of Europe, who were bound together by religion, 
honour, and discipline. Even among the Romans there were build- 
ing societies of great extent, the remaining members of which re- 
tired to the monasteries, and there occupied themselves chiefly 
with the construction of churches, and created the more sublime 
style of Christian architecture. Regular but temporal builders were 
also received into the society, and wnen, in the eleventh century, the 
vigour of the monachal system began to slumber in the indolence and 
satiety of acquired riches, these temporal builders obtained by de- 

frees the superiority, and eventually formed the grand associations 
y means oi which those wonderfm works were executed. They 
possessed and followed mysterious signs and customs, by which the 
members of the body forming the class of the more sublime archi- 
tecture were distinguished from the more simple artizans. Every 

* It is, however, gratifying to observe as one among the many existing signs of the 
progress made in our time in the fine arts, that the completion of this noble edifice 
has been recently determined and commenced upon. 


society liad its protecting patron, from whom it was named, and 
wheoBver a grand undertaking was to be executed tliej all came 
from their various districts and assembled on the spot, so that their 
art, like a common possession, was beneficially distributed through- 
out most Christian coimtries. These important societies received 
from the reigning emperor and princes letters of license, and even 
th^r own exclusive judicial courts, at which the chief architect pre- 
sided as ludge. Close to the spot on which was to be erected the 
large building they were engaged upon, and which edifice perhaps 
took centuries to construct, a wooden house or Hiitte, was generally 
built, neatly adorned inside, in which the said chief architect, with the 
sword of justice in his hand, sat under a canopy and pronounced judg- 
ment. This hlitte or court house, in Strasburg, derived a peculiar 
importance during the period of the construction of the minster. 
It was soon regarded as the most distinguished amongst all in Ger- 
many ; its institutions were imitated, and the other court houses 
frequently derived counsel and decision from it.* 

But the noble principle of these associations ended with the de- 
cline of the general spirit of the middle ages. The great architec- 
tural undertaidngs ceased; the eneigies of men were divided in all 
directions. War monopolised so entirely the resources of states, that 
for great monuments of art but little more could be done, as will be 
more particularly developed as we proceed in the course of our his- 

Painting was also zealously practised for the decoration of churches 
and other holy places, and our old cities are full of splendid speci- 
mens of this art. Qerman art in its entire character is grave, chaste, 
and moral, abounding with depth of thought and expression, like 
the nation itself. In the figures of the holy apostles and saints, as 
well as of pious men and women generally, who are represented in 
devout contemplation and prayer, we find expressed the profound 
sublimity of thought and sentiment which would be vainly sought 
ibr in the works of art produced by any other nation, although they 
may, and do possess a superiority m fmish, richness of colour, and 
skimilly-deceptive representation. In their pictures, also, the Ger- 
mans display that untiring industry which does not consider it too 
trifling to carefiilly represent, with truth and fidelity, the smallest 
and most minute decorations of the walls, furniture, or garments. 
It is true that painting attained its culminating point much kter, and 
the names of the most celebrated Grerman and Flemish painters, who 
worked in the same spirit, belong to the fifteenth and sixteenth cen- 
turies; although in earlier times, and by mastera whose names are 
imknown, splendid pictures of subjects taken firom sacred history 

* After StrasboTg came, in 16S1, under the dominion of Fmice, all oonnezion be- 
tween this principal HuUe and the others of Germany gradually ceaaed to exist; and 
the consequent disputes which arose between these latter on the subject of each 
other's daims to superiority were erentually put an end to in 1731 by an imperial 
decree, by which all distinctions of pririk^ between these Msocwtions and the com- 
mon class of architects were abolished. 


were executed for the churches. The most celebrated of the later 
artists were John Van Eyck, of Bruges, who died in 1441 » and vko 
is considered as the inventor of oil painting; his countrymen, Hans 
(John) Hcmling, Martin Schon of Culmbach, in Franconia, Mi- 
chael Wohlgemuth of Nurembei^, but above all others Albert 
Diirer, who was bom in 1471 and died in 1521, and whose wcsAs 
are characterised by vigorous feeling and profound seriousness of ex- 

Sression; and, finally, Lucas Cranach, wno was bom in 1470, and 
ied in 1553. 

Abb, third art in the list of the middle ages, poetry was one wliicfa 
particularly flourished in the time of the Swabian emperors. Iliis 
derived its vigour from the inspiration of the whole period of the 
crusades and was in high estimation amons the higher and lower 
classes. The celebrated singers who knew now to elevate the hearts 
of men by iheir soiigs of the great deeds of ancient heroes, or by 
their tender lays of Lunent — ^here and there, however, re&eshed by 
encouraging and energetic strains— were hospitably welcomed at 
every festival, and ricnly rewarded, proceeded from the courts of 
emperors, princes, and counts, to flourishing cities, throughout the 
whole of Germany. Sometimes a contest of art was instituted, similar 
to those wherein the knights disputed for the prize of arms, and, be- 
fore an assembly of selected ana competent jud^, songs resounded 
of the most inspiring and admirable nature. Some of the most ce- 
lebrated poets and troubadours of this period are Henry, of Vildedc, 
about 1170, Wolfram of Eschenbach, llartman of the Aue, Heniy 
of Ofterdi ng en, God&ey of Strasburg, Walter of the Vogelweide, and 
Conrad of W iirzbuig. But also emperors, princes, and noble kmgbts 
themselves practised poetry. All the Hohenstaufens from Frederick I. 
have left us poems, besides Marmve Otho with the Arrow, of Bran- 
denburg, Duke Henry of Bre^w, Henry of Meissen, Duke John 
of Brabant, Count Rodolph of Neuenburg, Kraft of Toggcnburg, and 
many others. One of the greatest and most splendia collections of 
German poems is that of ihe Niebelungen or Legends of Chivalij, 
which altnough not originally composed in this period, still at that 
time was collected together and formed into one entire work ; a poem 
as sublime and grand as it is sweet and touching, and may be justly 
compared with the Homeric lays themselves. The Hddadmdij or 
great book of heroes, which is derived firom the Swabian period, 
likewise contains the most beautiful poems ; and, about the year 1 300, 
a counsellor of Zurich, Rlidger of^Manesse, collected the metrical 
lays of one hundred and forty Minmringers^ or troubadours. 

In the sciences, the period of the middle ages cannot, probably, be 
compared with those of later times, however supenor, on the 
other hand, it may rank in the fine arts, inasmuch as the sciences 
are a firuit of aenous reflection and of long eicperience, and one 
age can build upon the foundation laid by a preceding one; whilst 
art, on the contrary, is more a free blossom of nature, and a work of 
happy inspLration, being not so much the result of deqp research as 
it IS of the impressions aroused by an excited epoch, llie sciences, 


boweyer, were not despised, but, on the contraiy, zealously promoted 
by the Hohenstaufen emperors. When Otho, Bishop of Freisingen, 
banded to the Emperor Frederick I. his Chronicles, the emperor 
said: "Ireceive with extreme pleasure the Chronicles which you nave 
oompiled so wisely in such good order, and which, hitherto obscured 
and concealed, you have brought to light and harmonised; and I 
rejoice always, when fieed from the labours of war, to read them, for 
Iguide myself to excellence by the splendid deeds of the emperors." 
We have already seen in the life of tiie Emperor Frederick II. how 
much he estimated science. And although herein his care was di* 
rected chieflj to his Italian states and universities, yet we must take 
into consideration its subsequent reaction upon Germany; for all that 
we trace proves that Germany itself was occupied in the most active 
development of science and art. No period of the middle ages can 
m this r^)ect be compared with that of the Hohenstaufens. The 
mind of Frederick 11., without doubt, worked both powerfully and 
effectually among us for the promotion of this object. 

Science, at this period, was chiefly confined to the ecclesiastical 
body, the members of which, by their state of independence, were 
called to be its true preservers. It has been customary to consider 
monasteries as the seat of indolence and ignorance, hypocrisy and 
sensoality, and, in fact, of many other vices. But this is an unjust 
opinion, confounding the thing itself with its abuse; and what, in 
the course of years, by the change of all things, was forced to pass 
away, has been at {he same time, wholly misunderstood in its earlier 
and more active form. In times when rude force held its sway in 
tbe worid, and eveiy one who could not defend himself was obliged 
to succumb, or was cast to the ground, the cloisters were places of re- 
%e and retreat for thousands of men, who found therein, not only 
desiiable asylums for security and repose, but also that necessarv 
hiswre for the calm and contemplative occupations of the mind, which 
alendy and progressively produced the sciences. Without the mo- 
Aastenes, we should liave possessed but little of the treasures of 
ancient literature, which they chiefly preserved for us; indeed, but 
for them we should know almost nouung of our earlier records, and 
possess, but a very meager and brief history of the events of former 
times. Before the invention of printing, it was so difficult and 
labcnioos to multiply copies of works, that without the leissure and 
tbe industry of the monxs in cloisters, who, with astonishing and 
admirable patience, transcribed entire works in elaborate chaiac- 
tei3, and with illuimnated letters, almost all traces would have been 
lost of the primitive and middle ages. Besides which, the authors of 
iiearly all the historical works were clergymen. Their names have 
leen mentioned at the commencement oi ihis period, and when we 
^ their productions, we must be filled with equal esteem and ad- 
i&iiation for the eocleoastics of the middle ages. 

Tbe warlike spirit of that epoch, however, had an important 
^ect upon the manners of the clergy. CSiristian, the Archbishop 
of Mentssy who was firequently at the head of the armies of Frederick I., 


in Ills expeditions to Italy, and conducted the very obstinate si^ of 
Ancona, in 1174, was as valiant a warrior as he was a zealous priest 
and skilful statesman. He could speak six langu^es: the Geiman, 
Latin, French, Brabant, Greek, and Italian. Wnen, as a clergy- 
man, he stood before the altar, he was the true representative of the 
minister of peace, in full priestly dignity; but when, again, he "vm 
mounted on his warlike steed, he displayed an equally commanding 
and elevated mien as a leader of the church militant. Under his 
sacerdotal robe he wore a coat of iron armour, upon his head a splen- 
did helmet of ^old, and in his hand a massive diree-edged dub. It 
b related of Imn, that in the different battles in whioi he fought, 
he killed nine enemies with his own hand. 

The monasteries, of the importance of which for the middle ages 
we have already spoken, merit here still closer observation. They 
owe their first origin to that pious spirit which prizes, by far, the 
heavenly above all earthly possessions ; and which by severe self-denial, 
repentance, and mortification, in all sensual gratifications, seeks to 
make itself worthy of the blessings of a purer life. At first, minds 
thus tutored sought to fly from the tumult of the world, and retired 
into solitary and isolated places; and when several thus disposed 
were collected together, they united themselves into brotherhoods, 
with the resolution of practising, in a body, similar penance and 
mortification. Thus those holy men, Antonius ana Pachonius, 
founded in this manner, in the middle of the fourth century, in the 
deserts of Upper Egypt, the first monasteries. By degrees, their 
example was followed m several places ; and also in Europe monas- 
teries were founded, after the holy Athanasius brought the fiist 
monks from Egypt into Rome. 

In the commencement of the sixth century (515), St Benedict, 
of Nursia, gave, by the rule he formed for his monastery at Monte 
Cassino, and which was everywhere foUowed, an entire new form to 
monastic life ; and this monastery, seated upon a high mountain in 
the most beautiful part of Lower Italy, may be considered as the 
model of all the others in western Christendom. It has existed and 
operated during a space of thirteen hundred years, and above thirty 

E opes, and a great number of cardinals, bishops, and ecclesiastics of the 
ighest rank, have sprung from the order of Benedictines. Every- 
where now arose monastenes ; partly because active monks settled them- 
selves in previously uncultivated districts, made them arable, and thus 
acquired a right to the land around; partly because emperors, kings, 
and princes, the high clergy, and noble families, as a pleasing work to 
God, built abbeys, and endowed them with the ground upon which 
they were erected. Monasteriesalsoaroseincitiesand villages, andcities 
formed and settled themselves around monasteries. The enthusiastic 
zeal excited in ancient times for a monastic life, and the donations which 
these institutions received are incredible ; the monastery of Ebersbcrg, 
in Austria, alone received as many as two hundred and twenty-eight 
such gifts. It was thought that no better use could be made of eartnly 
possessions, than to give them to a monastery; and the monks had, 


beaideSy at sick beds, opportunities enough to foster and maintain this 
opimon. Economical management, and cheap and advantageous 
purchases made at a convenient time, aumiented these possessions, 
and especially so at the period of the crusades. The nobles who were 
not able to command the necessary means for the expeditions to those 
distant countries, sold their estates, or borrowed money upon them; 
and if they did not return, or could not pay back what they had 
borrowed, the property remained in the Hands of the monastery. 
Subsequently too, m the time of violence or the Faustrecht, many 
freemen gave themselves up, together with their possessions, into 
tbe handjB of the monasteries, to enjoy their protection. And 
finally, the monasteries received from the pope, in the thirteenth cen- 
toiy, ibe privilege to retain for their own possession, the bequeathed 
property of the deceased relatives of the brethren — ^a productive 
source of wealth; whilst, Ukewise, it was made into a law, that 
ndther nims nor monks could ever bequeath any thing to a third 
party, but were forced to leave their whole inheritance to the monas- 
tery they belonged to. The cloisters even bestowed upon many 
rich persons the title of monk, in order to inherit their property, 
and permitted them afterwards to live beyond the monastery, the 
same as before. If we consider all this, it is very easy to compre- 
hend how the convents, by d^rees, acquired such large, and some 
even immense riches. The example produced stimulation, and 
their number increased incredibly. St. Bernard, of Clairvaux, who 
lived at the period of the second grand crusade, founded alone one 
hundred and sixty, and some cities contained even several himdred 

The urgency displayed by applicants to be received in them 
was extraordinary; many sought admission from a true spontaneous 
impulse of the soul, many in order to find the means of hvin^, and, 
lastly, many were persuaded and forced into them by their relatives. 
It is true, in order to remedy and. prevent this latter abuse, the 
canon law forbid expressly that any one should be forced to take 
the vow, either by imprisonment or any other measure of compulsion ; 
besides which, it was ordained that a year's noviciate should always 
precede taHng the habit; and, finally, that no male should take the 
vow of monk before his fourteenth year, nor any female before her 
twelfth year; but this age was evidently too early, for many cer- 
tainly took the vow without knowing what they were doing. 
Many orders fixed, also, a more advanced age. 

The occupation of the lay brothers, according to the rule of St. 
Benedict, consisted in agricultural labour, the sciences, instruction of 
youth, transcribing of books, attendance on the sick, and the exercise 
of praver and religious worship. Their mode of life was very severe,, 
their dress very simple, whilst their food was restricted to merely the 
most necessary diet, and frequent fasting was 'strictly enjomed. 
liater orders, which took that rule as their foundation, but increased 
its severity, imposed upon their members the most rigid penances, 


including corporeal castigation. The order of the CarthnaanSf 
which was founded by a German, St. Bruno, previously a canon at 
Rheims, in an inhospitable and desert valley near Grenoble, was 
considered the most severe. Their raiment consisted not only of a 
rough hur stin worn next the flesh, as in many of the other 
orders, but the rule commanded expressly that it should be a prickly 
one; and they were forbidden any covering for the head or the 
use of shoes and stockings. They fasted three times in the week, 
and during the eight holy weeks ihe^ took nothing but bread and 
water, whilst fat of all kinds, butter, oil, &c., were wholly prohibited. 
The religious exercises were not interrupted either by night or day, 
and solitude and melancholy silence increased the n^dness of ^ 
mode of life. And yet who coidd believe that notwitnstanding this 
severity of the order, it numbered, two htmdred years after its ori^, 
no less than two hundred and eleven monasteries and nunnenes? 
Such examples may serve us as a proof that the spirit of monastic life, 
far frombemg in contradiction with the manners, was much rather a 
necessary feature of that age. Their subsequent degeneration into 
worldly views, and the whole changed spirit of the period, must not 
cause tiie judgment of history to err in its consideration of the oiigin 
of these institutions. 

The head of the monastery to whom a blind and unconditional 
obedience belonged, was the abbot; under him stood next the prior, 
then the deacon, the butler, the steward, the cantor, &c. In the 
convents there were imder the abbess similar female dignities. 
But every convent of nuns had a prior for religious worship, for 
preaching, confession, &c., because these functions could not be 
transferred to women. Laybrothers were also found in monasteries, 
who, without having taken the entire vow of monks, attended to the 
external business of the monastery, in order that the others might 
not be obliged to quit the cloister or enclosed space of the monast^. 

The monasteries, according to the ancient oraer of church govern- 
ment, stood orig[inaUy imder the jurisdiction of the archbishops and 
bishops of the diocess, and the abbots were consecrated by them ; they 
gave permission for the foundation of those institutions, authorised do- 
nations, the purchase and sale of land, &c. But ambition and a desire 
for greater independence became excited by degrees in the cloisters; 
they soon wished to be dependent only upon the popes, and the latter 
were not unwilling to increase in this manner their immediate and ex- 
tended influence. The same as with the cities in Germany and Italy, 
who sought to make themselves free from the domination of princes, 
and would only be subject to the emperor, so it was with the cloisters 
with respect to the bishops and the pope. With the temporal cler^ 
also, the patrons and curators, the monasteries by degrees stood m 
direct opposition. Originally they had nothing to do with the cure 
of souls, ohortly , however, many individuals turned to the monastery 
to confess, to have children christened, &c. The clergy complained 
of it and several popes prohibited these incursions upon the diocess. 


But in the course of time the monksy by the fitvour of the bishops, 
and subsequentlj of the popes, gained in this respect also greater 
iieedom, and exercised the clencal duties in a far more extended 
circle around them. 

A third great extenaon of their power originated in the circum* 
stance, that firom the tenth century the previously solitary standin^m<>- 
luistenes became gradually united into mrge societies or congregations, 
belongingto thedifferent principal orders. In theyear 910, arose that of 
Clunjr,irom the monastery of that name in Burgundy, foimded by St. 
Odo;in 1018, thatoftheCamaldulensians, by Bomuafd;in 1086, thatof 
the Carthusians; in 1098, that of the Cistercians; in 1122, that of the 
Premontiatenaans, &c. These orders received from the chief mo* 
nasteiT one common central and superior direction. AU monasteries 
sent their deputies to the chief assembly held in this head cloister, 
and here then: common affairs were dehberated upon and arranged, 
and resolutions fixed. The abbot of this head cloister, to whom 
the remaining abbots vowed obedience, was charged with the exe- 
cution of these regulations, inspected the cloisters, regulated them, 
and thus exercised episcopal rights and privileges. 

These congregations were in reality very powerful associations, and 
infused into the monastic life fresh vigour and strength. In the be- 
finning of the twelfth century, consequently two hundred years after 
Its foundation, there were 2000 other monasteries subiect to the 
parent monastery of Cluny. Its abbot received all the privileges of a 
bishc^, and placed in all the dependant monasteries pnors only firom 
his own monks; and he himsdf was elected by them. In Cluny 
itself there lived four hundred and sixty monks, and yet not one was 
obhged to remove firom his own cell, nor was any chamber appointed 
for public use, required to be cleared when, in 1245, Pope Lmo- 
c^t IV., with several cardinals and bishops, the King of France 
with his mother, sister, and brother, the Emperor of Constantinople, 
the spns of the kings of Castile and Arragon, all with their suites were 
entmained as guests in this splendid and spacious monasteiy. The 
order of Premontratensians founded by St. Norbert of Aiante, at 
Premontre near Laon in France, numbered, eighty years after its 
oiigin, twenty-four provincial or district directors, one thousand ab- 
bots, three hundred fiiars, ' and five hundred convents of nuns. 
Norbert was afterwards Archbishop of Magdeburg, and introduced 
lus rule into the monasteries of Magdeburg, Havelberg, Branden- 
burg, &c., and the order spread to Bohemia and Silesia. 

ui opposition and as a contrast to these rich orders, which by 
their vezy|wealih had developed the germ of degeneration and indo- 
l^U!e, there was established at the conmiencement of the thirteenth 
ccnturj the order of beggar-monks, whose first law was to acquire 
^0 fixed property beyond their monastic walls, and to seek their 
support by receiving small gifts. Thus, thejr could never be troubled 
with a desire afler temporal possessions m their practice of self- 
de&ial, poverty, and mortification — ^three essential virtues in this 


new order. Francis of Assissi, an Italian, founded, in 1210, the 
order of the Franciscans, and Dominique Guzman, a Spaniard, tkt 
of the Dominicans^ in 1215, and it was to this Guzman that tk 
pope afterwards transferred in particular the inquisition. In 1238, the 
Carmelites who had previously had their original seat upon Mount 
Carmel, in the east, came to Europe, and about this time under Pope 
Gregoiy IX., they assumed the rule of St. Augustine, and founded 
the order of the Augustines. * All these orders speedily, and at once, 
spread themselves, but it was only in the following centuries tkt 
tneir activity came into full operation. 

In this manner the whole empire of the church had divided 
itself into two portions; on the one side the whole of the monastic 
clergy, and upon the other the secular clergy. It is true they 
were both united in their several grades, under their supetior and 
supreme head, the pope; but this division of the churcn was not 
b^eficial. Envy, jealousy, and many vexatious disputes were 
thereby produced. The closer inspection of the bishops mi^ht have 
kept the monasteries in a better state of discipline and order. St 
Bernard of Clairvaux, who belonged to the oixler of the Cisterdans, 
the only order which recognised the jurisdiction of the bishops, 
writes upon this subject thus: " The pope can by virtue of nb 
power withdraw the bishop fix)m the junsdiction of the archbishop, 
and the abbot from that of the bishop, but it ought not to take 
place, for the bishops would thereby only become more arrogant, 
and the monks less restrainable. All superiority, all fear, would be re- 
moved, and the whole structure of the nierarcny, which in wise order 
ascends to the pope, would be undermined. Beneath their humhie 
demeanour and expressions are concealed the haughty dispositions of 
the abbots; they plunder the church in order to free memselves from 
the superiority of the bishops, and they purchase their independence 
so that they may escape from tliat obemence which should be their 
richest ornament. Thence this desire of each to rank next to. and 
as immediately as possible after the pope, dissolves the entire bonds 
of the hierarchy." 

It has been shown how in the course of time these institutions which 
had srown from, and were adapted to the necessities of the age, and 
which, retained in proper limits, might afterwards, as at first, have con- 
tinued to fulfil their object, degenerated from the moment that their 
temporal exertions entirely outweighed their intellectual efibrts, their 
multiplicity having thus become ten, nay a hundred times too great 
For a proportionate number of men of really inspired minds, who, dis- 
gusted with the world, desired the retirement of a monastic life, could 
not possibly be found to inhabit the cloisters thus numerously distri- 
buted. Thence thousands against their wiUs, or urged by base mo- 
tives, had adopted the cowl, to which they were now for ever bound, 
and this majority thus introduced the germ of ruin into every institu- 
tion they entered. Complaints of the degeneration of the monks, of 
their continued life of sensuality, dissipation, and other vices, became 


more and more frequent. The ancient reverence wUch had hitherto 
surrounded and hovered over these places of repose and pious medita- 
tion, now gradually disappeared. The inhabitants of cities, who, for- 
merly hy presents and grants, had contributed to build and endow the 
cloisters within their walls, became now their enemies, when they be- 
Iield them stretch thdb* arms too widely aroimd them, and when among 
other rights, they found them arrogate to themselves that of a free- 
dom from all civil impost, not only for themselves but likewise for their 
labourers and mechanics. Between the princes and nobles on one side, 
and the monasteries on the other, there arose jealousy, contention, and 
unjust reprisals. In order to protect themselves against external power, 
83 well as to exercise their rights of freedom, which alone depended 
on the empire, the monasteries were obliged to procure and establish 
an authorised governor and protector (^Schutz or Kast-vofff) selected 
diiefly from among the powerfol nobihty of the neighbourhood, and 
for wnich service they paid him a considerable tax. But between 
the Vogt and the monastery disputes often arose, and thus many a 
monastery was severely oppressed by the Vogt, its own chosen de- 
fender. The contest ofiten forced itself within the very walls of the mo- 
nastery itself. The monks rebelled against their superiors, misused and 
droyethem away ; the lay brothers revolted against the whole monastic 
brotherhood, and consequently violence and murderous scenes of blood 
desecrated those walls originally consecrated to peace. Such is the 
&te o! every human institution as soon as it steps beyond the true 
limits asagned to it for the legitimate attairmient of its appointed 

Nevertheless, we must here observe, that this sad degeneration in 
the monastic life occurred less in the age of the Hohenstaufens than 
in the following centuries, when it becomes evident that all the insti- 
tutions of the middle ages inclined, and in &ct were hastening 
towards their frdl and ruin. 

It remains now for us in this description of the middle ages to 
^peak of that which is made its greatest objection, the misuse of 

Swer to obtain justice, or even without the least justice, to offend, 
pon this account these times are called those of the Faustrecht 
(&t or club law), because the fist so generally decided instead of the 
word, and force had all the validity of law. Every prince had his 
fordfied castle, every knight his strong tower, frequently upon an 
inaccessible rock, and every city its protecting walls ; and confiding in 
these places of retreat, every one mocked the demands of the other, 
often when he was wrong, until he was obliged to yield to force, or 
was himself destroyed. Little attention was paid to the sentence of 
judges, and, firequently, even the emperor's word was not heeded, 
and thus it was that while tlie empire enjoyed profound peace with 
its neighbours, internally the most violent contests, small and great, 
Aged m different places at once, so that in what they called the 
most ordinary state of these fatal times of anarchy in Gennany, 
thousands of individuals perished by the sword annually. Such a con- 



dition appeals fearful to us, and we cannot compiehend how men 
could, in such a state, be easy and cheerful as if in perfect secuiihr. 
For it would seem that only those who were violently and lapadously 
inclined held dominion, wmlst peacefulj tranquil men must have livd 
in constant fear and dread of destruction. So severe a judgment, 
however, would again be based upon a misconception of the spiiit 
of that age, whilst closer observation will only serve to soften and 
mellow down the harsh and hideous colours of this sad picture. 

The noble lived amidst his warlike arms and was always ready 
at a moment's notice to resist force by force whenever he wasattacked; 
and in so doing, he did not consider himself verging at all beyond Iiis 
ordinary sphere; it often, indeed, afforded him pleasure to be thus 
occasionally aroused from a temporary state of lethargy. It was a 
realising proof of that glory he was bound to sustain, and as it was 
for honour's sake that the very best ftiends broke a lance togelher— 
oft;en in serious contest— in the tournaments, so likewise in the most 
violent feuds honour was constantly the ^ding star. They did not 
oppose each other in battle with the animosity and absolute hatred 
excited in enemies of later times, for very frequently their encounter 
was only a more serious joust at arms, in which the opponents mea- 
sured their strength with each other for life and death. It was an 
ordeal of Grod, an open and energetic mode of deciding the qnanel 
which reason and argument could no longer terminate, and this de- 
cision was regarded as that of justice and good right. 

We have already seen that besides this, the cities excited by these 
continual wars of the Fehde or Faustrecht, between the princes and 
nobility, were aroused to a full development of their powers, and that, 
together with industrial activity, both manly virtue and the feeling 
of civil honour had become firmly united, and more and more ener- 

fetically brought into action. When, therefore, the citizen was at 
ome, within the walls of his own city, he lived in perfect security and 
full of confidence in the courage of his fellow-citizens ; and when he was 
travelling he protected and defended himself with his own aims, 
assisted by his numerous suite, with which, whenever possible, he 
.took care to provide himself. 

The peasant was forced to suffer most in these feuds, and his condi- 
tion was sadly deplorable during this period. The battle was most 
generally fought upon his ground, and thus his plantations became 
destroyed, whilst he himself was defenceless and without arms, not 
having even the right to bear them; being held unworthy of such 
honour unless he was wholly or at least half freed. But, again, 
in many cases he found a protection in the point of honour 
established in chivalry, which did not permit an injury or offence 
bein^ offered to a defenceless man, whilst he likewise derived 
considerable compensation from the security he possessed in being, 
with his sons, exempt from military service. Besides which, 
the evils of war were less in extent, and left much fewer and less 
disastrous traces behind than in our days; for what are all those 


minor mischances of the battle-field compared with the miserj so 
inexpressible and incalculable which a single war in the present time 

We should also err very much if we thought that in this period 
of the Faustrecht the law had no effect, that no judges were 
appointed, or tribunals held, and that all was left to arbitrary 
vn\L On the contrary, the Fehde-recht^ in its peculiar sense, 
KBS connected with the dispensation of justice and tne infliction of 
pnniahment conformably with the spirit of the age. But to perceive 
and comprehend this better, we must refer back to the primitive ju- 
dicial system of the Germans, ^md prosecute its entire development 
in the middle agea 

The German ludicial sjrstem like every other, the object of which is 
to funiish acivil community with order and well being, was based upon 
tie principle that peace should reign between all its members. Thus, 
whosoever had brolcen the peace by murder, fire, robbery, &c., (so did 
nature interpret and decree to the Germans — who desired notonly jus- 
tice but speedy justice,) it was not necessary to cite the criminal before 
a tribunal, but the offended party was at liberty to prosecute retaUa- 
tion until the former made compensation, either by money or other- 
TOe. Thence this ancient and original right of the freed man served 
to found the collective feudal system. Ine individual who had com- 
initted the crime might be himtelf attacked on the same day and 
immediately after it occurred; bui subsequently, when the feudal 
code became better regulated a previous announcement of three days 
i»^ necessary. When, however, the offender offered reparation of 
honour and right, that is to say a just restitution, there was then 
no loneer cause to seek justice by force of arms. 

In the earlier periods of German antiquity when all justice pro- 
ceeded directly from, and rested in the grand and mighty union of 
&II the freed men, there existed no other law but the common law 
practised by the count together with the community of his Gau or 
<fetnct, the Centgrave or centenary, and the Decantis or tything man, 
at the head of the commimities of their jurisdiction. Every judge held 
''pgukrly, and at certain periods of the year, his £chte Ding, or court 
of session. Every defendant was compelled to appear, the complaints 
^enc made, the judge required the verdict of tne community, and 
^hat these decided by their foreman, who was called on for that 
Pppose by the judge, the latter declared as sentence. The commu- 
^ty consequently founded the law which became absolute for all 
s^ilar cases subsequently, and every freeman took a part in its le- 
gidation. Charlemagne first introduced the Schoffen, whose office it 
*M to attend at every court held, in order to refer to ancient pre- 
sents. If the condemned refiised to submit to the sentence, the 
judge himselfy together with the whole judicial community, were 
obliged to see the sentence executed. Thus the whole system was 
^(^ upon the equalised strength of the individuals, and the firm 
^^^ of the collective community. Charlemagne by his power 

t2 • 


knew how to maintain order, and prevent each from tatingthe lavin 
his own hands. Under his reign no private or distinct feud was lieaid 
of. But Louis the Pious,with ms sons, soon afterwards gave alreadyan 
example of violence, and under the later Carlovingians the count lost 
all his judicial authority, and with it, likewise, vanished moie and 
more tne power of the communities; for, on the one hand, tLe 
clergy, the monasteries, and the high nobility, with their vassals, 
began to assume to themselves particular privileges wliich removed 
them from the ordinary jurisdiction of the communities, and, at the 
same time, exempted them from the duty of making the disobedient 
attend to the sentence pronounced thereby; and, on the other, the 
necessary general equahty of the commumty was destroyed bv the 
preponderating authority acquired by the princes, counts, and lords. 

A superior power — that of a duke — ^became then requisite in order 
to restore the vi^gour of the courts. Ever since the first emperors of 
the House of Saxony, Henry and Otho, had created dukes and 
raised them to their proper position, the judicial courts became also 
re-strengthened and improved; inasmuch as they by their summons 
issued to all their officials in the districts th^y ruled, and by the aid 
of their own vassals were enabled to command the necessary re- 
spect being shown to their authority. The first Salic emperors strove, 
it is true, to weaken and overthrow the ducal authority in order to 
procure a more immediate influence for the imperial power, but it was 
exactly in the powerful authority invested in these emperors that 
justice and order found their support. But the long and unfortunate 
reign of Henry IV., who was continually at war with the Saxons, 
as well as with his rivals to the imperial throne, and finally with his 
own sons, was the cause of the abandonment of justice once more 
and of its becoming a prey to violence. 

Not but that the majority of the Hohenstaufens possessed dignity 
and personal authority enough to re-establish order, but all their ener- 
gies being directed towards Italy, the inclination so general in Ger- 
many for the Faustrecht could therefore be put into practice more 
easily, especially as the power of the dukes, by the jealousy of the em- 
perors, and of FredericK I. in particular, was now destroyed. The 
emperors, indeed, now sought to place themselves more immediately 
at tlie head of the judicial power, and by maintaining its dispensation 
themselves, endeavoured to cause its authority to be respected by 
their princes and counts. For this purpose Frederick I. established 
the Landfriede, or peace of the country, which was re-established 
by Frederick II., in 1235; but the coniusion in the rights and pos- 
sessions of the princes being already too great, the individual princes 
and nobles opposed each other in constant feuds. Those wars had 
acquired even a more regular form by the ordinance of Frederick I. 
which decreed that the declaration ot war should be announced three 
dap previously, and thus each knight was enabled to find greater op- 
portunity to secure himself against the judicial power of his superior. 

After this law, opposition to justice, and private feuds which, 


in earlier times, owing to the vigour and strength of the institu- 
tions, existed only as exceptions, became now of regular and estab- 
lished occurrence. The baneful spirit of disorder took the upper 
hand at the period of the Interregnum, and spread its domimon 
eyeiywhere around, whilst the noble chivalric feeling of honour and 
virtue which was still maintained imder the Hohenstaufens, gra- 
dually disappeared, and rude and brutal violence became more and 
more intolerant and oppressive. 

Seyeral of the emperors, whom the next division of our history 
will name, endeavoured to remove and overcome these evils. Ru- 
dolphus or Rodolph of Hapsburg, renewed, in several diets, the law 
iatiiieLandJrieden (or peace of the coimtry), and strove to strengthen 
it bj the association of several districts, as, for instance : Westphalia, 
Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Hessia, Bavaria, and Swabia. This was, 
in reality, a new mode of giving strength to justice, after it was 
found that the authority of the courts, the dukes, and even that of 
the emperors had successively lost all power. But in a country 
which was divided into so many petty dominions, these unions only 
fostered too easily a party spirit, and consequently led to much in- 
justice. The temporal nobles and knights, especially in the south- 
west of Germany, took advantage thereof, to oppose and make war 
against aU those powerfiil cities, which had also concluded alliances to- 
other. To which followed very speedily, continued dissensions and 
disputes upon the subject of the election of the emperors, and claims 
to mheritance in several countries: in Luneburg, Hessia, the Tyrol, 
&C.; during which the nobility received greater weight, and could 
arrogate to themselves the right of justice. The Emperor Wences- 

las and his successors endeavoured to unite all these various asso- 

* * . 

ciations mto one grand alliance of a Eeischsfriede (or peace of the em- 
pirel and thus restore a superior authority, but in vain. It was not 
ufltil towards the fifteenth century, when the nobility were obliged, 
ky degrees, to yield to the power of the territorial princes, and when, 
fi^wdally, the vigour of cnivalry was broken by tine development of 
Anew epoch, that, at length, a solid and durable foimdation was laid 
for the dominion of justice, by the Emperor Maximilian's fixed law 
of the Bachsfriede, which secured the public peace for ever. 

We will now trace the prominent features of the forms of judicial 
proceedings, and of the laws in the middle ages. Originally, the 
^^yenor court of jurisdiction was held only in tne particular county 
which, in the name of the king, or under the KlinigsbaTm, exercised 
iugh judicial authority over real property and life. In the cent- 
paviates Twhich were called, in Lower Saxony and in Westphalia, 
Gogerichte)^ there was only a petty court of justice, to which the 
Dobles f Semperfreien) were not subject; for, throughout the whole of 
the middle agesy we find maintained the rule: that every one, to 
whatsoever dass he belonged, could be adjudged only by his equals; 
|o that the general grand principle of the administration of justice 
hy the communities, from the highest to the lowest, continued to 


form the basis of all judicial proceedings throughotit Germanj. 
The emperor could pass no sentence which the princes and nobles liad 
not approved; and in the class of peasants, even in the courts of 
law, among feudatories and vassals, no lord and no superior au- 
thority could adjudge capriciously and arbitrarily, inasmuch as it 
was necessary to have the approbation of the community. Justice, 
therefore, remained the living property of the people, and its code was 
formed by custom and descent, from among themselves. Written laws, 
indeed, were held in dread and suspicion, for then the proceedings 
would have fallen into the hands of those learned in jurisprudence. 
The church alone was ruled by written laws, and alinost in eveir 
thing by the Roman code. Wherever solitary written laws were found, 
such as privileges, principles of jurisprudence and rights, for cities 
or particular districts, they were of such trifling import in thor 
incomplete state that, far from being so constituted as to form souioes 
of right and fountains of justice, they only served as testimonies to 
prove that the true law lived exclusively in the people. 

The first collection of German laws was formed by a Saxon noble- 
man, Epke or Eike von Repgow, between 1215 — 18, and which 
is known under the name of SacJuenspiegel or Saxon Mirror. It 
was a mere private labour; but as the collection was more complete 
than the hitherto so-called laws, it came by degrees into general 
practice, particularly in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The 
compiler was totally ignorant of the Roman code, and did not therefore 
adapt his composition to it, either in form or matter; but those 
who revised it subsequently, introduced much of the Roman canon 
law. Among the compilations, we must include the Sckwaben.' 
sjoiegel or Swabian Mirror, and the Kauerrecht or Imperial Code, 
tne latter of which, in particular, contains the feudal system. 

The Roman law was evidently introduced by the clergy into 
Germany, and was adopted in the ecclesiastical courts. It was only 
in the fifteenth century that the municipal courts commenced re- 
ferring to it. The re-awakened taste for the study of Roman an- 
tiquity, in general, brought with it also a desire to investigate and 
make researches into the Roman law-books, particularly in ^e 
xmiversities; and they commenced, in doubtfiil cases, to procure 
opinions and legal decisions, as well from the doctors of tne uni- 
versities as from the superior courts. The influence which the gra- 
dual introduction of the Roman law had upon the public affairs of 
Germany, will become more and more evident as we proceed in the 
course of our history. 

Before we conclude our description of the state of judicial affiurs 
in the middle ages, we will contemplate one of its most remarkable 
institutions, namely, that of the Vehm or Femgericht^ (secret execu- 
tive tribunal), which formed itself in Westphalia, and which gives^ 
us a profound view of the spirit of that period. But for the sfie ot 
connection, we must previously enter upon and anticipate the limits 
of the immediate succeeding period. 


In Westphalia the jurisdicdon of the piinoess and nobles was wholly 
founded upon the Chgerichte or Centgraviates. Tlie ancient tribunal, 
howerer, of the Graf or count had also maintained itself, although 
nrnch dinunished in authority, as the supieme and royal court 
The high nobility and the &inilies comprising the original free land 
proprietors, who had continued fi-ee from fiefs and nad neyer be- 
come the yassals of the dominant lords, could alone be chosen as 
Sehfffftm or ministers in this court; they being called on that ac- 
count Freischqffen^ or firee ministers and judges, and the court was 
styled a £ree court or tribunaL 

A^ain, as the rights of the £ree tribunals were attached to the 
primitiye rights of the ancient jurisdiction of the coimties, so also 
tboee of the Stuhlherr were connected with the Freittuhh or free 
courts; for the term Stuhlherr- was applied to eyery prince, noble, 
and knight, who as judicial lord possessed a jurisdiction which did 
not depend upon the emp^x>r. The Stuhlherr was appointed to watch 
especially that justice was done. For this purpose he cieated a Frei- 
graf 01 free count, who was inyested with authority by the emperors, 
or dukes, and, after the fall of Henry the Lion, he was appointed by 
the Archbishop of Cologne, as inheritor of the Duchy of Westphalia. 
The free count stood in the same affinity to the Stuhlherr as the 
judce or judicial lord; the Freischoffen, howeyer, were not servants 
of the judge, but they represented the ancient community or jury, 
and the free count was only the president or foreman who main- 
tained Older in the assembly. All the Frieschoffen present pos- 
seased the right to participate in pronouncing judgment; a less 
number than seven members could not form a court, and if there 
were too many to enable all to take an immediate part in the pro- 
ceedings, the remainder formed the audience, of whom, in the utter 
and more splendid periods of this tribunal, there were assembled 
hundreds and even thousands. Besides this, every free count had 
his clerks who were called Franbotm, and were appointed to serve 
^ espedally , taking no share in the decisions of the court. 

The superior Freistuhl or tribunal was at Dortmund, that city 
heing a free city of the empire, and acknowledging no Stuhlherr 
or judicial lord, owing, perhaps, to the antiquity and celebrity of 
its tribunal, as well as the aboriginal privileges it had acquired in 
the time of Charlemagne. In Dortmund all the free coimts assembled 
ereiy year to meet a general chapter, where they founded Weis- 
thimer, or principles of law, examined the judgments of the free 
<^<)urts, and confirmed or put them aside when an appeal was entered. 

As these tribunals drew their origin from those of the ancient 
county courts, it will be readily perceived that they exercised a 
Jurisdiction over ordinary legal disputes which we call civil actions, as 
*!*> over penal cases, which pre-suppose a crime. But this last division 
of their office, at that time so important, became stiU more so in the 
course of time, in order to enable them to exercise their whole power^ 


in suppressing as much as possible the savage spirit existing so tuuTei- 
sally and amongst all classes, to conmut the most serious enmes 
against life, honour, and property. And as they adjudged in the 
name of the emperor, and dj the law of life and death, they thought 
that in all criminal afiairs they could extend their jurisdiction beyond 
tlie limits of Westphalia, more especially as not another tribimal 
existed throughout the empire so authorised, from which to obtain 
justice against criminals, la fact, such influence did this tnbunal 
command, that at length no cases of contention, nor even purely civil 
disputes arose which could not be brought before them for decirion, 
if the defendant refused to do justice and honour to the plaindff; 
for thence the crime became one absolutely confirmed against the 
sanctity of the law. 

Thus in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the power of the 
Freigerichte extended over all parts of Germany, as far as Prussia 
and Livonia ; whilst all complaints, even from the most distant districtSf 
were obliged to be brought before a Westphalian superior tribunal, 
and it was upon Westphalian groimd (styled in the judicial language 
the red earth) that the cited person was forced to appear. Bey(nid 
Westphalia no such Freistuhl could exist, and when the Emperor 
Wenceslas endeavoured to introduce one into Bohemia, the free 
counts declared that any one participating in such a Freistuhl 
incun»d the penalty of death. Thus onginally it was Westphalians 
alone, and of these only the ancient free bom Schbffen or Stuhlfrain 
that could be constituted judges in the tribunal ; but in the thirteenth 
century it was the custom to receive also other free, irreproachable, 
and honourable men as Sckoffen, and when the court itself extended 
its jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of Westphalia, every free 
German could become a Freischoffe, and princes, counts, knights, 
and citizens, strove to attain the honour of participating in the pri- 
vileges of Freischoffen. A Freischoffe could be cited only before a 
Freigericht or free tribunal, and great weight was laid upon his 
word and oath. But they were very careful and strict m their 
election of a Freischoffe; ne was obliged to prove that he was free 
born, of a good family, not suspected of any misdeeds, and was m 
the enjoyment of all his rights, and finally two Freischoffen were 
obliged to become his security. The reception could take place only 
in Westphalia. Even the emperor himself could make Freischoflfen 
only upon the so-called red earth, in this superior court. They had 
among them a very ancient, secret sign and peculiar greeting, \?hereby 
they recognised each other; whence, or perhaps fix)m their knowledge 
of the laws, they were called the initiated, and in order to make any 
one knowing or wise implied receiving him among the Schoffen of 
the superior tribunal; even emperors were subjected to this reception, 
for in the year 1429 the Emperor Sigismund was solemnly received 
among the initiated, at the Freistuhl of Dortmund. We may conader 
these courts of justice in Westphalia at this brilliant moment of their 


existence, when almost all the princes, nobles, and knights, became 
FreischoSen, as an absolute ana important association, which in all 
its ramifications spread over the whole of German j, and which at a 
time when all the other courts had lost their power, acted as a sub- 
stitute, and constituted a barrier against the rude and brutal force of 
crime. A solemn oath held all the members united, and not even 
in the confessional were they suffered to reveal a secret of the Vehm 
tribunal; neither were the clergy themselves admitted into it. 

Originally the non-initiated were not taken at once before the 
secret tribunal, but before the ancient tribunal of the community or 
jury court (the £ckte Ding\ but that was formed by the same indi- 
viduals; the forms only were less severe, and likewise there every 
one could be present. But if the cited individual did not appear, he 
was then taken before the closed or secrets court, so called oecause 
only those initiated could be present, and any non-initiated one 
venturing to introduce himself was immediately hanged. The term 
secret here therefore implies closed covoct^ and does not indicate those 
terrible mysteries which dared not be exhibited before the light of 

It is equally as fabulous that these tribunals were held at night in 
woods, caverns, and subterranean vaults, although in later times, 
when this court had become degenerated, it may have occurred in 
isolated cases. But the place of meeting was the ancient palace 
court of the grafs or counts, generally upon a mountain or hill, 
whence the eye could command a view of the entire coimtry 
around, under the shade of lime trees, and by the light of the sun. 
pie free graf or count ascended and presided on the seat of 
justice; before him lay the sword, the symbol of supreme justice, 
at the same time representing in the form of its handle the cross 
of Christ, and the next to it the Wyd or cord as a sign of 
right over life and death. The count then opened and closed 
the court, that is, he called the Schbffen around nim and assigned 
to them their places. They were obliged to appear bareheaded and 
without arms or armour. Upon the judges' declaration that the court 
^ opened, peace was commanded for the first, second, and third 
tmie. From that moment the deepest silence reigned throughout 
the assembly, no one ventured to argue or converse, for by so aoing 
he tiansgre^ed against the solenm decreed peace of the tribunal. The 
ated person, who was also obliged to appear without arms, stepped 
forward, accompanied by his two sureties or bail, if he had any. The 
complaint made against him was stated to him by the judge, and if 
ae swore upon the cross of. the sword, the legal oath of purification, 
he was free: " He shall then ^Bk^t^Kreuzpfennigy or farming piece," 
sajs an ancient work on jurisprudence, " throw it at the feet of the 
«>^, turn round and go his way. Whoever attacks or touches him, 
1« then, which all freemen know, broken the kinff's peace." Such 
yasthe ancient proceeding with the genuine Freischoffen, who en- 
joyed particular privileges, and who were presumed to have a strict 


love for truth and honour. In later times that ample sfciakht- 
forward way seems to have become Opte changed, for we lead m 
other ancient codes that the plaintin was entitled to oppose and 
destroy the validity of the purifying oath of the defendant by thiee 
witnesses, which, nowever, the latter could again oppose with ax; 
if the accuser appeared with fourteen, the defendant could swear 
himself free with twenty-one, whidi was the highest testimony. If 
the defendant acknowledged the crime, or if the plaintiff convicted 
him by oath and witnesses, the Schoffen then gave judgment If 
the criminal received sentence of death he was executed immediately 
and hanged on the next tree; the minor punishments were exile 
and fine* 

But if the defendant did not appear upon the third dtation, and 
could produce no satisfactory cause of absence within a stipulated 
period, he was considered as having confessed his crime, or as one 
despising justice and peace, and, therefore, having placed himself 
beyond tne pale of either, the sentence of the Vehm, which was equi- 
valent to condemnation, was pronoimced against him; and thence 
these courts received the name of VehmgerichU. 

The sentence pronounced by the court was dreadAil: *' As now 
N. has been cited, prosecuted, and adjudged before me, and who 
on accoimt of his misdeeds, I summoned before me, and who 
who is so hardened in evil, that he will obey neither honour nor 
justice, and despises the highest tribimal of the holy empire, I 
verfeme, or denounce him here, by all the royal power and force, as 
is but Just, and as is commanded by the Kdnigsbann, or ropl 
ban. I deprive him, as outcast and expelled, of all the peace, 
justice, and freedom he has ever enjoyed since he was baptised; 
and I deprive him, henceforward, of the enjoyment of the four 
elements, which God made and ^ave as a consolation to man, and 
denounce him as without right, without law, without peace, without 
honour, without security; I declare him condemned and lost, so 
that any man may act towards him as with any other banished 
criminal. And he shall henceforward be considered unworthy, and 
shall enjoy neither law nor justice, nor have either freedom in, 
or guidance to any castles or cities, excepting consecrated places. 
And I herewith curse his flesh and his blood; and may his body 
never receive burial, but may it be borne away by the wind, and 
may the ravens, and crows, and wild birds of prey consume and de- 
stroy him. Aind I adjudge his neck to the rope, and his body to 
be devoured by the birds and beasts of the air, sea, and land ; but 
his soul I commend to our dear Lord God, if He will receive it" 

According to some customs, after he had cast forth the rope beyond 
the walls of the court, the count was obliged to pronounce these words 
three times, and every time to spit on the earth with the collective 
Schoffen, as was the usage when any one was actually executed. 
The name of the condemned criminal was then inserted in the 
book of blood, and the count then concluded the sentence as fol- 


lorn: '^ I command all kings, princes, lords, laiights, and squires^ 
all free ootmts, and all firee, true Schoffen, and all those who belong 
to the holy empire, that diey shall help with all their power to 
fulfil this sentence upon this banished criminal, as is but just to the 
secret tribunal of the holy empire. And nothing shall cause them 
to withhold from so doing, neither love nor affection, relationfihip, 
fiiendahip, nor any thing whatever in this world." 

Ihe banished man was now in the condition of the criminal con- 
demned to death, oyer whom execution lowered. Whosoever re- 
ceived or even warned him, was also taken before the tribunal of 
the free count. The asdsting members of the court were bound by 
a terrible oath, and by a heavy sentence of death, to conceal the 
judgment whidi had been passed against any one; that is to say, to 
make it known to nobody out one initiated; and even if the con- 
demned man was a brother or father, the member durst not warn 
him thereof. Besides which, each initiated one to whom the sen- 
tence was authentically conveyed, was bound to help to put it in 
execution. Generally, a letter of outlawry was given to the 
plaintiff, with the seal of the free count and seven Schofifen, that he 
might pursue the guilty party; the oath of three Freischoffen suf- 
ficed to confirm the sentence. Wherever the Verfemte, or banished 
man was found, whether in a house, in the open street, the high road, 
or in the forest, he was hanged at the next tree or post, if the ser- 
vants of the secret court could obtain possession of hun. As a sign 
that he was put to death in execution of the holy Vehm, and was not 
murdered by robbers, they left him all that he bore about him, and 
stuck a knife in the ground close beside him. Besides this, the 
Schoffen of this secret court possessed the privilege of hanpng with- 
out a trial every criminal taken in thefact^ if, faithful to the laws of 
honour, th^ took nothing from him which they found about him, 
and left behmd the sign ofthe Vehm. 

We are astonished when we contemplate this terrific and mighty 
power ofthe Schoffen alliance, and can at the same time easily com- 
prehend how the most extraordinary traditions of this Vehmgerichty 
or secret tribunal, based upon their nocturnal assemblies, their 
mysterious customs, their imtiation and course of justice, together 
with thdr condemnation and execution of the criminal, have been 
preserved in the mouths of the people, for even the plain historical 
descriptions thereof are sufiSciently striking. An association of se- 
veral thousand men spread throughout the whole of Germany, from 
the highest to the lowest classes (for we find examples of common 
freemen, mechanics, and citizens, being clothed with the dimity of 
aiiee count, and that even princes and knights did not disdain to 
ssdst as Schoffen under their presidency), such a society whose 
iBembers recognised each other by secret signs and by a solemn oath 
were bound to support each other, who adiudged and punished in 
the name of the emperor and the empire, who reached the criminal 


even after an elapse of years, and in whatever comer he might seek re- 
fuge, and finally who were not subjected to f^re any account foi wbat 
they did if only the terrific knife was present as evidence : what power, 
we repeat, did not this alliance command against the evil-minded, and 
what a powerful support and guarantee might it not have been for 
the peace and justice of the empire? The prince or knight who eaalj 
escaped the judgment of the imperial court, and from behind his 
fortified walls dened even the emperor himself, trembled when in the 
silence of the night he heard the voices of the Freischofien at the 
gate of his castle, and when the free count summoned him to appear 
at the ancient malplatz or plain, under the lime tree, or on the bank 
of a rivulet upon that dreaded soil, the Westphalian or red eround.* 
And that the power of these free coimts was not exaggerated bj the 
mere imagination, excited by terror, nor in reality by any means in- 
significant, i's proved by a himdred undeniable examples, supjyorted 
by records and testimonies, that numerous princes, coimts, knights, 
and wealthy citizens were seized by these Schofien of the secret 
tribunal, and in execution of its sentence, perished by their hands. 

Such power placed in human hands without the protecting check 
of publicity and responsibility could not long exist without misuse. 
In the great development and extension of the association, it a)uld 
not be avoided, but that unworthy individuals should be received as 
membera who used the power confided to them for the sole satisfac- 
tion of their revengeful and baser passions. At the end of the 
fifteenth century many complaints arose in several parts of the empire, 
and particularly on the part of the clergy, against these free courts ; and 
we find that the whole spirit of modern times began to work against 
them farmorethanthesecliargesuponisolated events. Tlie power of the 
lords of the soil had now become increased and confirmed; they could 
not endure that their subjects should be judged by a stmnge, although 
originally imperial tribunal. Thence arose alliances of princes, nobles, 
knights, and cities, against the Westphalian courts, and when the 
law for the lasting peace of the land, the new imperial cliamber ot 
justice, and a new criminal court were introduced, the study of law 
and jurisprudence became substituted for a knowledge of the ancient 
customs ; and when crimes against the peace of the land and against 
obedience to the authorities ceased, then did tlie power of the secret 

* We must add here, that the summons was executed by two Schoffen who nate 
the bearers of the free count's letter. If they did not succeed in finding the accused, 
because he was living either in a city or a fortress, where they could not safely enter, 
they were authorised to execute the summons in the night. They stuck the letter, 
enclosing a farthing piece, in the panel of the gate of tlie castle, and cut off three 
chips from the same gate, which they handed to the free count as a testimony that 
they had delivered the summons, having, when leaving the gate, cried out to the 
sentinel on the walls that they had deposited there a letter for his lord. If the 
iuxiused was a man without any regular place of residence, and if he could not he 
met with, he was summoned at four different cross-roads, where at each pointy the 
east, west, north, and south, they attached a summons, enclosing in each the ronl 
petty coin. 


tiibunal evaporate of itself without any formal abrogation, so that it 
is equally difficult to trace the last as it is to fix the first year of its 

* In the iixteenih oentary, the association contended for its rights and priTileges^ 
and the struggle still continued in the scTenteenth centoiy, althoi^^h nrach weakened 
ind the scene confined to Westphalia. In the eighteenth centiuy there were left 
only a few traces, the mins of the past; its recoUections and its signs, however, stiU 
cootime to exist amongst the peasants of certain proyinces in Westphalia. At 
Gdunen in Munster the secret trihunal was only eztingoished entirely by the 
French legislation in 1811 ; and even to the present day, some of the ftee peasant* 
who haye taken the oath of the Schoffen, meet annually at a particular spot 
inmnd the JVetrte^ and it has been impossible to extract from thiem the secret 
oith. The principal signs are indicated by the letters S. S. G. G. which signify stoc^ 
(itick), stdn (stone), gras (grass), grein (tears); but we cannot trace the mysterioua 
meuung these words conrey in connexion with the Vehmgerieht 





The sources of the history of this period are again still more scanty than in that 
of the Hohenstaufens, consisting chiefly of special chronicles rather than of general 
historicsd works, constituting one entire and continuous representation of events, 
added to which they ore all, or for the greater x>ortion, written in the Latin toogae. 
The first we have to mention are those works of general history which appear in 
the form of chronicles or annals, and which present hut a meagre portion of Gemun 
history. The most important are: 

1. Hermann, a monk of Attaich, known under the name of Henricus Sterr; Chro- 
nicle 1147—1300. 

2. Annales Colmarienses, 1211^1303; in the collection of Urstislus. 

3. Matthias of Neuenhurg; Chronicle as far as 1353, continued hy Alhert of Stras- 
burg ( Albertus Argentinensis) to 1378; in Urstisius. 

4. JohnVitododuranus; Chronicle 12 15 — 1348; in Eccard. 

5. Oobelinus Persona, deacon of Birkefi^d; Beyiewof the World (CosmodromiuiQ;, 
to 1418; in Meebom. 

6. Dieterich Engelhusen; Chronicle to the year 1420; in Leibnitz and Menken. 

7. Andreas, a presbyterian of Ratisbon; Chronicle to 1442; in Eccard. 

8. Werner Rolewink of Laer, a corthusian monk in Cologne; Chronicle to 1476, 
continued by Hans Lindner to 1514; in Pistorius. 

9. Hermann Komer, Domin, in Lubeck; Chronicle to 1435; in Eccard. 

10. Hartmann Schedel, a doctor in Nuremb^g; Chronicle to 1492; printed 8epi- 

11. John Nauklenu, professor in TUbingen; Unirersal History, to 1500; printed 

12. John of Trittenheim (Joannes Trithemius), from the vicinity of Treres, 
Abbot of Sponheim and Wurzburg, who died in 1516: his works are Tery important 
and haye b^ edited by Freher. The most valuable among them is the Chronicle of 
the Monasteiy of Hirschau in Wurtemberg (published at St. Gallen iu 1630: Chro- 
nic. Hirsaugiense) 830 — 1514; in which the historian has interwoven tbe whole his- 
tory of Germany. 

13. Albert Kranz, 6anon in Hamburg, who died in 1517, wrote the bistxvyof 
Northern Germany, in three parts: Metropolis, Sazonia, etVandalia; a learned man, 
and, for his time, an independent thinker. 

As especial and entire works on Germany may be mentioned: 

14. The State letters of the Emperor Rudolphus L; edited by (Herbert, 1772, and 
Bodmann, 1806. 

15. The Biography, &c., of the Emperors Rudolphus L and Albert L, written hr 
Gottfried, of Ensningen, by desire of Magnus Engelhard, a citizen of Strasborg. 

16. Albert Mussatus, professor in Padua, and who died in 1330, wrote De Gestis 
Henrici VII. Imp., and History of Italy, after the death of Henry VIL 

17. Caroli IV., Commentarius de vita sua ad Alios. 

18. ^neas Sylvius Piccolomini, subsequently Pope Hus IL, and who died in the 
year 1464, produced: 

a. The history of his own times from 1405-63, which he caused to be written by 
bis own private secretary, J. Gobelin, of Bonn. 

RUDOLPHUS I. OF HAP3BURG. — CHARLES Y. 1273—1520. 287 

h. The history of the eodeaiastical ooimcil of Bade, written by hinuielf; as abo 

c. The history of the Emperor Frederick m., and, 

d. Yarioiu nunor worlEa, amongst which the Descriptio de Rita, Situ, Moribns et 
Conditione Germanise, and nnmerons letters, all of which haye been collected and 
repeatedly printed. 

19. Fertz's Scripta renun Anstriac contains many yalnable sonroes for the history 
of the Austrian emperors. 

2a J. Joach. Miuler has collected the most important transactions of the diets of 
the Gemiamc empire, espedally of those under Frederick HI. and MRximiiifm i.^ 
paUished m Jena 1709, and subsequently. 

b the fourteenth and fifteenth centnxies we And historical works in the German 
lufroage become more frequent : 

21. Ottocar of Homegk wrote a Chronicle in rhyme, which contains the entire 
epoch of the Interregnum and the history of the Emperors Budolphus, Adolphus, 
Albert* sad Henry YIL, as fkr as 1309; a work which althou^ not strictly historical, 
isnererthdess worthy to be referred to as a history of those times. It is reprinted 
ill Fritz's Histoiy of Austria. 

22. Jacob of Konigshoren, an ecclesiastic in Strasburg, who died in 1420, wrote a 
CfaroDide of Alsace and Strasburg in the Swabian diidect, which, was edited by 
SiMter, and published with his notes m 1698. 

23. iierhsid Windeck, of Mentz,